Why Ryan Fraser was dropped for Newcastle United at Chelsea - plus more on Scotland snub

Newcastle United winger Ryan Fraser was left out of the Scotland squad for the upcoming friendlies against Poland and then either Wales or Austria.

Eddie Howe has revealed why Ryan Fraser was benched against Chelsea - as the Newcastle United head coach discussed the winger’s Scotland snub.

The 28-year-old has been in form of his life on Tyneside in recent months, starting 11 consecutive games before being named as a substitute at Stamford Bridge.

While his performances speak for themselves - two goals and three assists - Fraser’s workrate has been a big part of the praise directed the winger’s way.

Indeed, that had taken a small toll on Fraser ahead of the trip to West London on Sunday as he managed a hamstring issue.

Fraser, who was an injury-time substitute, would have been fine to link up with Scotland, however was left out by manager Steve Clarke.

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It comes after he annoyed Clarke when he withdrew from the squad for last November’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Denmark but was pictured training on Tyneside following Eddie Howe arrival.

Clarke confirmed Fraser will be considered for future squads after apologising - and Howe has backed him to regain his spot.

“He’s very passionate about his country, he always has been,” Howe said. “He loves his country and even when he was with the junior age groups he loved going away and that hasn’t changed.

“He wants to do well in every aspect for his club and country and I’m disappointed for him of course but I think Ryan is in a good place because he’s here, he’s in a good place and playing well.

“He had a slight tight hamstring before Chelsea so we didn’t want to risk him in that game but I’m very, very pleased with his recent performances and I know if he continues with the consistency of what he’s delivering then he’ll force his way into that squad.

“I’ve spoken with Steve (Clarke) and I’ve got a good relationship with him and I know how highly he rates Ryan so I’m sure that situation will come to a positive conclusion.

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“The only thing I’ll say on that is that it will be dependent on how Ryan performs, that will be the biggest factor in whether things change.”