London - Mark Hughes's debut as QPR manager ended in disappointment as Leon Best gave Newcastle a 1-0 victory at St James' Park on Sunday.
With leading scorer Demba Ba absent at the African Cup of Nations, Best again started up front for Newcastle and scored the only goal in the 37th minute.
The Ireland international collected a pass from Ryan Taylor, cut inside right back Luke Young and sidefooted into the far corner for his first goal since Sept. 17.
But Newcastle lost midfielder Yohan Cabaye to a worrying ankle injury after a tough challenge from Shaun Derry.
The loss in Hughes's first match in charge left QPR without a win from their last nine league matches and in the relegation zone.
QPR enjoyed the better of the opening stages even without suspended captain Joey Barton, the injured Alejandro Faurlin and African Cup of Nations absentees Armand Traore and Adel Taarabt.
Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul saved from Heidar Helguson and Akos Buzsaky inside the opening six minutes and Shaun Wright-Phillips clipped the bar with a shot.
Cabaye was carried off after 20 minutes and replaced by Hatem Ben Arfa and Taylor forced a fingertip save from QPR keeper Paddy Kenny as Newcastle started to build some pressure, which told eight minutes before half-time.
Jonas Gutierrez moved forward out of defence to slip the ball to striker Shola Ameobi, who passed to Taylor. Taylor prodded a pass to Best, who scored his fourth league goal of the season.