Newcastle boss Alan Pardew insists his team should fear no-one as they attempt to extend their remarkable run of form.
The Magpies climbed into the top five in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday as a result of a 1-0 victory over QPR, their fifth in succession in the league and sixth in all competitions.
Mut the 53-year-old is keeping his feet firmly on the ground as he prepares for a December fixture list which includes clashes with Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United as well as a derby with Sunderland.
“It is a tough December, there’s no doubt about that, but the team is in such a good place today, we were so disciplined today.
“I think anybody who recognises Premier League football and watches it on a regular basis would see that as a really powerful performance from a young team, so that was really good for us.”
What was not so good for Pardew and his players was the sight of Ryan Taylor leaving the pitch in tears just 34 minutes into his first league start for 993 days, after fighting his way back from two cruciate ligament injuries.
The midfielder, who had arguably been the most influential player in the game until that point, could have been forgiven for fearing the worst when he slumped to the ground in some distress after anxiously flexing his knee, although he was able to walk to the dressing room.
By chance, the surgeon who operated on him, Richard Steadman, was among the crowd at St James’ Park and accompanied him to hospital, and Taylor later allayed concerns over any significant damage.
He tweeted: “Thank you all for your positive messages. I appreciate them all, just to let you know I have no major problem.”
Newcastle enjoyed the better of the game, but were unable to make the pressure tell until 12 minutes from time when skipper-for-the-day Moussa Sissoko spun on Sammy Ameobi’s pass before shooting firmly past keeper Rob Green.
NEWCASTLE: Krul, Janmaat, Williamson, Dummett, Haidara, Ryan Taylor (Gouffran 34), Colback, Cabella (Cisse 68), Sissoko, Ameobi, Perez (Armstrong 89).
QPR: Green, Onuoha, Dunne, Caulker, Yun, Barton, Sandro (Kranjcar 61), Henry (Hoilett 82), Fer, Zamora, Austin.
Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).