Eddie Howe insists Ryan Fraser isn't injured ahead of Carabao Cup tie
Newcastle United are getting ready for one of the biggest games in their recent history.
They travel to Southampton tomorrow for the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final.
The Magpies haven’t won silverware in a long time, and are now just two games away from a cup final.
The struggling Saints stand between them and a trip to Wembley to face either Manchester United or Nottingham Forest.
Southampton’s form has improved recently, but Newcastle will be heavy favourites going into the game.
It would be a surprise to be a rotated team put out tomorrow, given the importance of the game.
Howe was asked about winger Ryan Fraser, and his recent absence from the squad.
The 28-year-old has only made eight league appearances this season, and has been left off the bench in their last four games.
Although Howe insists he doesn’t want Fraser to leave, his future at the club is very much uncertain.
Howe insists Newcastle winger Fraser isn’t injured
The Newcastle boss was asked about Fraser’s recent absence, and he said: “No, he’s not injured.
“He just needs to keep training hard. He’s a valued member of the squad.
“I know him better than anyone and I know what he’s capable of. I’d love to see him back in a Newcastle shirt.”
Fraser hasn’t recorded a goal or assist this season, and has fallen down the pecking order at Newcastle.
Although he’s now denied this, it’s hard to see Fraser’s minutes increasing any time soon.
With the team in such good form, and the Carabao Cup now such an important competition, Howe’s very unlikely to rotate.
A number of Premier League and Championship clubs are reportedly interested in Fraser.
Whether any of them make a move to sign him in the next week is yet to be seen.
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