Alan Pardew has made Newcastle owner Mike Ashley aware of January transfer targets

Newcastle have struggled after last season's impressive feats

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew insists he has left owner Mike Ashley in little doubt as to what he wants during the January transfer window.

Pardew's priority will once again be to retain the players he already has in his squad with Demba Ba's infamous release clause a cause for concern once again, while the likes of Cheick Tiote and Yohan Cabaye too have been linked with hostile bids.

However, having admitted they fell short of what they should have done during the summer, the Magpies are also looking to recruit senior players rather than potential.

Pardew, of course, does not have the final say on transfers with Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias judging every deal on its financial efficacy, but he is adamant that he is sending out his message loud and clear.

He said: "I need a couple of players and if you think I am not asking for them, then you are seriously mistaken.

"I need a couple of players, I think, in this group, and maybe even three.

"Whether we can get them across the line on a financial front remains to be seen."

Asked if Ashley and Llambias are receptive to his pleas, Pardew replied: "Of course they are.

"Mike openly would say that in the summer, we should have bought another player, he would actually argue that himself."

To that end, Newcastle are actively preparing for significant investment next month, although sources on Tyneside have played down suggestions that a deal for Marseille striker Loic Remy has already been struck.

He is, however, one of the men in Pardew's sights, although whether that is as a possible replacement for Ba, or an addition to the existing pool of strikers, remains to be seen.

In the meantime, the manager will concentrate solely on the task of ending a run of six Barclays Premier League defeats in seven outings when resurgent QPR arrive at St James' Park tomorrow.

There were positive signs for the Magpies in defeat by champions Manchester City last weekend, although Harry Redknapp's men will run out having finally ended their wait for a first victory of the campaign with a 2-1 win over Fulham.

Pardew does not like the term "must-win" - his view is that every game is "must-win" - but he admits that only three points will allow him to enjoy his Christmas lunch on Tuesday.

He said: "No, no, for sure, no - and I wouldn't enjoy it if we got a draw either.

"But a win would ease my burden, because it is a burden. I don't want to be Newcastle manager and lose, I don't like it.

"The fans are hurting, but no more so than me and the players."

QPR hauled themselves from the foot of the table as a result of their victory over Fulham, who had beaten the Magpies five days previously, and Pardew knows they, and in particular talisman Adel Taarabt, will be in no mood to surrender a four-game unbeaten run under their new manager.

He said: "For sure, he (Taarabt) was absolutely brilliant in the last game. As good as Berbatov was against us, he was against Fulham, and we will have to make sure we keep him quiet.

"If we keep him quiet, then I think we can win the game, but he will be an influence on the game.

"They have got some momentum, and that's very important in the Premier League. It's something we have been searching for.

"But they are still coming to Newcastle and we are in decent form in terms of some of our play. We just need to have a little bit more resilience to stop conceding goals and I think we will get results."

PA

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