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The Magpies' boss says he will persevere with the France international, who has been carrying a hamstring injury, even though he won't regain full fitness until next season

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew is prepared to gamble on the fitness of Hatem Ben Arfa during his side's battle to avoid relegation.

Ben Arfa has been struggling with a hamstring injury for a couple of months, but nevertheless proved to be the Magpies' outstanding player against West Ham on Saturday.

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The 26-year-old will therefore be crucial for Newcastle as they look to take maximum points from games against QPR and Wigan in order to secure their top-flight status.

"Ben Arfa has been struggling. This hamstring has a slight weakness in there and it won't even be strong I don't think for six, seven weeks," Pardew told reporters.

"We got a great level of fitness out of him in terms of that particular problem. He was terrific at West Ham, and he's a match-winner. We've been bringing him on in the second half but started him at the weekend and we missed him when we took him off. We missed that little thrust.

"I think for Hatem another week's work will get him closer. Goal scoring is what wins games, we've got to improve that area for next week, including with Hatem."

Pardew admits the trip to Loftus Road to face Harry Redknapp's already relegated QPR is a must-win game.

"We haven't got a lot of time left, and Wigan's result has put pressure on us all," he added.

"Not just us - all the teams above us. It looks like at QPR we're going to have to try to win the game and see where that leaves us. We wanted to try to get two wins."

Newcastle sit in 17th position in the league, currently only three points clear of the relegation zone.

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