Yoan Gouffran insists that Newcastle United are still aiming to finish top of the table.

However, the winger/striker admits that the team will have to play a lot better than they did on Wednesday night if they are to have any chance of doing so.

Gouffran thinks that only for around 15 minutes did Newcastle play well against QPR and if Rangers had taken their chances in the first half, it might have been even worse than a point.

The Frenchman believes that maybe NUFC’s many mistakes gave the visitors confidence and certainly they were repeatedly invited to press Newcastle, with Lascelles especially shaky on the ball.

Derby are doing a lot better under Steve McClaren and the Newcastle player thinks it could well be a tougher match than the comfortable win away earlier this season.

Rafa Benitez will have to get his entire team to up their game if Newcastle fans aren’t to endure another nervous 9o minutes.

Yoan Gouffran talking to the official club website:

“It was two points dropped tonight because we wanted to win. I think we started the first half well and we played well for maybe 15 or 20 minutes but after, we started to make some mistakes and we lost some confidence.

“We have to do better, we have to play better and we have to improve.

“It was a good start for us because we scored early and we pushed to score the second goal, but we made some mistakes, and after it became difficult to stay focussed.

“We are at the top of the table and we have to play better. Tonight I thought we didn’t do well in the game – if you watch all the game we played well only for 15 minutes, so we have to do better.

“I don’t know why that was. Maybe our mistakes gave QPR some confidence and after they scored their goals..

 “It was quiet (in the dressing room) because we wanted to win tonight. We want to finish first and we’ve lost some points and the team that’s first has some points on us. We have to get some wins in a row and we will see.

“It’s not the same (Derby) team that we played in September. They’ve changed managers. I watched them play against Leicester and I think they did well. They are a different team and they have some good players. It’s going to be a tough game.

“I know they are doing well at the minute, they are winning games and they are in the play-off places, so they’re a good team. It will be a tough game.”