Alan Pardew hopes Yohan Cabaye is not injured after Shaun Derry tackle

Cabaye's OK! Pardew hopeful as midfielder stretchered off after 'strong' Derry challenge

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is hopeful key midfielder Yohan Cabaye did not suffer any lasting damage after finding himself on the wrong end of an X-rated tackle.

The Frenchman left the pitch on a stretcher after being felled by QPR midfielder Shaun Derry's 20th-minute challenge during Sunday's 1-0 victory for the Magpies.

Angry: Yohan Cabaye was furious at Shaun Derry's challenge

Angry: Yohan Cabaye was furious at Shaun Derry's challenge

Cabaye reacted furiously, although Pardew, who later revealed the injury did not seem as bad as was first feared, admitted that referee Chris Foy – the man who controversially sent off Manchester City's Vincent Kompany seven days ago – had probably got it right in only producing a yellow card.

He said: 'It was a strong challenge, but Shaun Derry is a player who makes strong challenges. The referee was right on top of it.

'I thought it was borderline yellow/red, but I think probably it was a yellow. He seemed to get the ball.

'There always controversy about tackling. It's very, very difficult for referees, so I am not going to sit here and criticise that decision.

'But Yohan was upset. He felt it was probably a little bit over-exuberant, but the doc thinks he is going to be okay.'

Late: Derry's thundering challenge

Late: Derry's thundering challenge

Demba who Leon Best celebrates scoring the winning goal

Demba who Leon Best celebrates scoring the winning goal

Opposite number Mark Hughes, in the Rangers dug-out for the first time, was of a similar opinion, although admitted he had not seen a replay of the incident.

He said: 'At the time, I thought it was a whole-hearted challenge.

'Obviously, there's quite a debate at the moment in terms of the interpretation of challenges such as that, but whether or not the referee got that one wrong, I can't comment, really.'

A tight game was won eight minutes before the break when Leon Best finally ended his four-month wait for a goal with a neat finish.

Ryan Taylor found the striker on the left edge of the penalty area and he stepped inside full-back Luke Young before side-footing past keeper Paddy Kenny and into the far corner.

The goal capped a more encouraging period for the home side, who had started poorly to gift the visitors a series of half-chances, although it was after the break that Jay Bothroyd passed up his side's best two chances, the second of them thanks to a fine save by keeper Tim Krul.

However, as time wore on, the Magpies, despite never reaching the heights of their 3-0 victory over Manchester United, gradually assumed control and saw the game out to ease themselves above Liverpool into sixth place in the Barclays Premier League table.

However, Pardew will reserve judgment on whether they can stay in there until he sees where they sit when Cheick Tiote and Demba Ba return from the African Nations Cup.

He said: 'That question, you are probably better off asking me when we get through this period without two great players because Cheick and Demba are two great players.

Rage: Cabaye gives Derry a piece of his mind as the stretcher bearers approach

Rage: Cabaye gives Derry a piece of his mind as the stretcher bearers approach

'We have had two hurdles so far since they have gone: Blackburn in the cup, which was a tough game and we won, and we have won again today, so so far, flying colours.'

Meanwhile, Hughes, who declined to elaborate on reports that QPR are closing in on January swoops for Brazilian duo Alex and Henrique, dismissed suggestions he is ready to offload skipper Joey Barton, who was suspended for Sunday's return to his former club.

He said: 'I saw that as well and I think it's one of those maybe mischief-making Sunday-morning-prior-to-an-early-kick-off lead stories.

'From my point of view, there's certainly no suggestion that we are thinking in those terms.

'He is captain of the club, I have re-iterated that this week. Joey is a quality player and we are looking to bring quality in, not to get those type of players out of the building.

'It's fair to say we are in the market for good players if they become available and if they are attainable.

'We would like to think the players we are able to bring in would be the right quality, and I am sure they would be.'