Newcastle - Newcastle climbed to fourth in the Premier League after Moussa Sissoko's second half strike clinched a 1-0 win over QPR on Saturday.
Sissoko's goal 12 minutes from time at St James' Park was enough to give Alan Pardew's revitalised side their sixth successive win just weeks after they looked destined for another season of struggle.
Pardew's men have not conceded a goal in 432 minutes and will be starting to dream of securing a place in European competition next season.
However, there was heartache for Newcastle's Ryan Taylor, starting his first Premier League game in 993 days after two serious knee injuries, when he limped off in tears after suffering another injury in the first half.
QPR slumped to the bottom of the table after their fifth defeat in their last seven matches.
Joey Barton was handed the QPR captain's armband on his return to Newcastle and he was given a warm welcome from the home fans after his four-year spell on Tyneside.
But Pardew's side were first to threaten when a sloppy back-pass from QPR defender Steven Caulker put goalkeeper Robert Green under pressure.
Green's clearance slammed into Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback, with the rebound bouncing into the side-netting.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp was furious with a careless piece of play that almost proved costly and he leapt to his feet, bawling and hollering at his defenders.
Taylor came close to marking his return with a dream goal when he drove a 20-yarder down the middle and Green had to fist it away.
But a day that had started so positively for Taylor suddenly turned sour in the 34th minute as he had to come off with what appeared to be a knee problem.
He hobbled down the tunnel in tears and even the crowd's warm applause couldn't ease the pain as Yoan Gouffran came on in his place.
QPR went close midway through the second half when Karl Henry worked a yard of space for a deep cross to Bobby Zamora, who turned a twisting effort on to the roof of the net.
Substitute Niko Kranjcar, who had replaced the injured Sandro on the hour, gave QPR fresh impetus, but the home side still looked the more likely to score, with Ayoze Perez testing Green with a first-time shot from Gouffran's 74th-minute cross.
Newcastle took the points in the 78th minute when Sammy Ameobi unlocked the QPR defence with a cute pass to Sissoko, who collected it before spinning and hammering in a rising drive from 15 yards into the top corner.