Newcastle United outcast hailed as ‘top draw’ & ‘brilliant’ after first goal of Championship loan spell

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There was a memorable moment for one Newcastle United outcast spending the season away from St James Park.

Southampton manager Russell Martin has praised on-loan Newcastle United winger Ryan Fraser as he looks to make an impact at the Championship club.

The 29-year-old joined the Saints on a season-long deal during the summer transfer window but struggled to make an impact as his new side struggled to build on an opening day win against Queens Park Rangers by suffering four consecutive defeats.

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However, Martin’s side have shown signs of living up to their pre-season tag as one of the favourites for promotion over the last month by claiming maximum points from three of their last four games.

Fraser played a key role in their latest victory as the Magpies outcast grabbed a last-gasp winner to help his side see off Hull City on Saturday afternoon. That was enough to lift the Saints move into the play-off places and hand another boost to their bid to make an immediate return to the Premier League this season.

Former Swansea City manager Martin was asked about the early months of Fraser’s time on the south coast and praised the winger despite conceding he is still working towards full fitness. Speaking after the Scotland international’s first Saints goal, he said: “People ask me, ‘what’s he like as a person?’ – he’s a brilliant lad.

“He’s intelligent, he lives for football and he enjoys being here. We’ve been trying to get him fit by playing games, which is not ideal, but he does everything properly and that finish was top drawer. I’m really pleased for him. He has great technical ability and he’s a top guy, which I already knew before he joined the club.”

Fraser will hope to build on his first goal for the club when Southampton visit Preston North End on Wednesday night.

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