Ryan Fraser names the 'nice guy' at Newcastle United who'll only get better

There were already some loud voices on the pitch – and in the dressing room – before Ryan Fraser walked through the doors at St James’s Park.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 6:00 am
Ryan Fraser.
Ryan Fraser.

Matt Ritchie has long been one of the loudest Newcastle United players on the pitch.

Mark Gillespie, also signed this summer, is also a good talker. The goalkeeper talked his team-mates through Wednesday night’s 7-0 Carabao Cup win over Morecambe.

Fraser came off the bench at the Mazuma Stadium, and those fans watching the behind-closed-doors tie on a live stream at home got another glimpse of what the winger will offer Newcastle.

The 26-year-old is quick and direct – Steve Bruce believes he’ll get fans off their feet when they return – but his game is built on work ethic. He’s also happy to track back.

“I’ll go past a man and cross the ball in and in the right areas,” said Fraser. "But I like to play as well. I'm not just about head down and trying to beat people. I feel like I give more to the team.

"I pride myself on, first and foremost before anything, work ethic. I work my hardest and run myself into the ground, tracking back.

Newcastle United's Joelinton celebrates scoring with Jacob Murphy.

"Everybody talks about going forward, but I have to help my full-back out.

"I’ve played full-back at Bournemouth, and sometimes the winger didn't help me out. So I know how hard it is when there's a winger running at me, so I know how the full-back can feel.

"Working hard is a fundamental, and I’m going to give everything to the team. If my quality shines through, then great.

"We need to keep the ball infield sometimes, and get the tempo back to our side of the pitch. I want to be the voice, like a Matt Ritchie, that says 'let's go lads!'. It’ll be 'let's get right after them!’. I need everyone to go with me, but I’ve always been like that since I was younger, it's not just going to be assists and goals. I want to give a lot more to the team."

Joelinton – who scored twice against Morecambe – struggled for goals last season following his £40million move from Hoffenheim, and Fraser is keen to help him add to his goal tally this season.

"He’s still young, 24,” said the Scotland international. "That's young in football terms, and it’s never easy coming to a massive club like this.

"Towards the end of last season, I thought he did quite well. He maybe didn't score the goals that fans wanted him to, but he has a lot of years to do that this year.

"Joelinton’s such a nice guy, he's not big time. He's down to earth, and willing to work hard. For me, as a player, he’s only going to get better.

"I’ll ask him where he wants the ball. I’ll ask him which spot he wants the ball in. Sometimes it’ll come off, sometimes it won't. There aren’t many players like him out there nowadays. That is a massive thing."

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