By Craig Hope for the Daily Mail
Published: 17:01 BST, 9 September 2020 | Updated: 20:54 BST, 9 September 2020
Ryan Fraser says Bournemouth probably would have avoided Premier League relegation had he played during the final weeks of the season - but has defended his decision to reject a short-term contract.
The 26-year-old, who joined Newcastle on a free transfer this week, left the Cherries in June and did not feature in any of their nine matches following restart.
Fraser was heavily criticised by Bournemouth supporters after turning down the offer to play during their battle for survival and the team were eventually relegated by one point.
Newcastle star Ryan Fraser says he could have stopped Bournemouth's drop had he stayed
Fraser turned down a short-term extension and Eddie Howe then departed after the relegation
The Scotland international insists he had to protect his own interests with his contract having expired, but says there is also frustration because he knows his presence would have made a difference.
‘My contract was done so it’s not like I refused to play any games,’ he said. ‘Nobody saw this virus coming. If the virus didn’t come I would have played every game under my contract.
‘Some lads in the Premier League signed an extension, and fair play to them. But for me, at my age, knowing that this