Ryan Fraser faces Scotland scrutiny after pulling out of Steve Clarke’s side’s crucial World Cup qualifiers with a calf issue… only to then train under new Newcastle boss Eddie Howe
- Ryan Fraser pulled out of Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers with a calf problem
- But the 27-year-old trained with Newcastle’s new boss Eddie Howe on Tuesday
- Scots boss Steve Clarke will demand answers from the Magpies winger
- Club sources say he did not take part in full session and wanted to test calf out
Ryan Fraser will be asked to explain why he pulled out of Scotland’s crucial World Cup qualifiers this week – only to then train with Newcastle.
Sportsmail has learned that the 27-year-old cited a calf problem when he withdrew from Steve Clarke’s squad on Sunday.
However, Fraser trained with the Magpies on Tuesday as his former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe took his first session on Tyneside.
Ryan Fraser cited a calf problem when he withdrew from Scotland’s World Cup qualifiers
The winger will be asked why he pulled out of the Scotland squad only to train with Newcastle
Scots boss Clarke will demand answers from the player, and we understand there is anger among some that he was able to train three days ahead of their game against Moldova. Club sources say he did not take part in the full session and wanted to test his calf muscle.
But there is also a feeling north of the border that Fraser wanted to be at Newcastle to make a positive impression on Howe, who he played under for seven years on the South Coast.
We reported on Monday how the pair had cleared the air after Fraser refused to sign a short-term contract in the summer of 2020 that would have enabled him to carry on playing for Bournemouth. Howe’s side were subsequently relegated and the winger eventually signed for Newcastle on a free transfer.
Scotland boss Steve Clarke (above) will demand answers from the Newcastle player
It is thought Fraser wanted to be at Newcastle to make a positive impression on Eddie Howe
Fraser started Scotland’s last game – a 1-0 win against Faroe Islands – and it was hoped he would play a part in Moldova, where a victory will seal his country’s place in the World Cup play-offs.
Meanwhile, new Newcastle boss Howe reported for duty before 7am on Tuesday and met his players for the first time ahead of an afternoon session.
Sources say the squad responded well to his demands to push themselves beyond what they felt was their maximum, with his message being ‘we train how we play’. The first thing he did was put them through a bleep test.
Howe was then all about intensity as he led the outdoors workout, in which he urged players to be ‘match sharp’ and insisted there would be ‘no jogging’.