RYAN Fraser insists he “he didn’t do anything wrong” at Newcastle United, with the winger keen to now look forward rather than back as he looks to get his career back on track at Southampton.
Fraser was frozen out at St James’ Park after being sent to train with the Under-21s at the start of this year. His last appearance for the Magpies came in October last year and head coach Eddie Howe made it clear the 29-year-old wasn’t part of his plans.
His spell at Newcastle came on the back of a controversial end to his time at Bournemouth, when the winger rejected a short-term contract at the end of the 2019-20 season, which meant he couldn’t play in the final stages of the covid-hit campaign in which the Cherries – then managed by Eddie Howe
Now, Fraser has had his say on how things played out at Newcastle and how his time at Bournemouth ended
He told the Daily Echo: “Everyone’s got an opinion but it’s tough because whatever I say here, everyone will form their own opinions.
“But (at Newcastle), I didn’t do anything wrong. I wasn’t playing but we had a massive squad. I went down with the 21s and that happens in football.
“The Bournemouth thing, it’s a long time ago and I don’t want to think too much on it or dwell on it – it was a terrible way to end what happened but it’s happened.
Fraser’s Newcastle misery came to an end when he signed a season-long loan deal with Southampton late in the summer window. The winger has so far made substitute appearances for the Saints against QPR and Sunderland and is pushing for a start against Leicester City this weekend.
He hopes he’s already made a positive impression at St Mary’s and won over any fans who had doubts about his fitness or attitude.
“Signing autographs after the (QPR) game, fans had really nice things to say. When I start games and do well, I’m hoping that opinions of me can be positive,” he said.
“At the end of the day, as long as we go up that’s the most important thing – but I was really grateful because I was nervous coming on, having not played any games in 10 months and they gave me a really warm welcome.
“I’ve needed the last two weeks with no games just to learn how we play because there’s so much identity in the team, and I need to find my identity in that team.
“It’s definitely something I’m learning because we’re not the finished product yet, we’re all still learning. The manager is still learning about his players as well.
“I want to play every game but in the Championship the squad is bigger than yourself. It’s silly if you think you’ll play every game, it’s not going to happen.
“We’re going to need everyone and for myself personally, I want to help in any way I can. I’m one of the experienced boys and I’ve been promoted from this league before.
“Small things like recovery and food; the boys see what you’re eating and ask questions, I’ll explain what you might not need for what day and things like that.
“In this league, games come thick and fast. If you’re one per cent off it you are going to get found out, so you draw on that experience.”