Ryan Fraser determined to force his way into Newcastle’s starting side
Ryan Fraser has vowed to fight his way into Newcastle’s Premier League team after marking his debut with a goal.
The 26-year-old midfielder’s 35th-minute strike secured a somewhat fortunate 1-0 second round victory over Blackburn in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening, his first competitive action since March 7.
However, having watched from the bench as the Magpies won their league opener at West Ham on Saturday hours after his initiation to the squad, he is determined to give head coach Steve Bruce something to think about ahead of Sunday’s clash with Brighton and next week’s third round trip to League Two Morecambe.
Fraser told NUFC TV: “I didn’t actually expect to be on the bench at the weekend, I think it was three days I’d trained for, not played for seven months, so I didn’t really expect to be on the bench, but it was a good experience, being with the lads.
“I did my song the night before, which was brutal singing, but at the same time, it gets the atmosphere up, gets everyone laughing and a good spirit in the changing room and it was brilliant to see them winning.
“Look, now I’ve got 60 minutes under my belt, you never know what could happen at the weekend, if I come on, if I don’t come on. But we’ve got the game next Tuesday and hopefully I can get 90 minutes next Tuesday and then I’ll be wanting the manager to put me in when he can.
“Look, I’m a team player, if he wants me to come off the bench, I’ll come off the bench; if he wants me to start – which I want to do, start as many games as possible and score as many goals as possible and get as many assists as possible.”
Fraser’s goal came courtesy of a fine reverse pass from Paraguay international Miguel Almiron, one of the few pieces of real quality a Newcastle side featuring 10 changes from the weekend produced on the night.
The Scotland international said: “That’s why I made the run. If you don’t play with players like that, you probably stay wide and try to get the ball to feet and try to take somebody on.
“In training, he’s been looking for me as well. You just run through the middle of the pitch and you know a player like him will find you.”
Rovers boss Tony Mowbray was hugely disappointed to have left Tyneside on the wrong end of the scoreline, but was at least able to console himself with the capture of former Middlesbrough defender Daniel Ayala, which was confirmed in the run-up to kick-off.
Mowbray said: “Daniel has been in teams that have got out of this division twice in the last four or five years as a stick-on centre-half defender who heads it, can defend, puts his body on the line.
“I don’t think there are many better in this division and I’m looking forward to working with him.”