Bournemouth and Scotland star Ryan Fraser has today moved to defend his decision not to feature for his country versus Kazakhstan last week.
Kazakhstan 3-0 Scotland
Alex McLeish’s men travelled to Nursultan last Thursday, for their European Championship qualifying opener.
Scotland understandably headed into proceedings as overwhelming favourites to secure all 3 points.
However, what unfolded over the preceding 90 minutes at the Astana Arena eventually culminated in one of the worst defeats in the history of the Scottish national team.
Goals from Yuriy Pertsukh, Yan Vorogovskiy and Baktiyar Zaynutdinov saw hosts Kazakhstan emerge with a deserved 3-0 victory.
‘Would do anything to play for Scotland’
While Scotland’s stars who featured in Nursultan last week have since unsurprisingly come in for their fair share of criticism, one of those to have been on the receiving end of some of the heaviest abuse has been a player who did not even take to the Astana Arena pitch.
The individual in question is Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser.
The 25-year-old, together with both Scotland and Bournemouth, made the decision not to line out on Kazakhstan’s astroturf pitch, having picked up a number of injuries on such unforgiving surfaces in the past.
As such, Fraser has this afternoon moved to hit back at those who criticized his choice, with the Cherries’ wide-man having confirmed that he ‘would have loved to have played’:
‘I would do anything to play for Scotland.’
‘I got a lot of abuse for it. I made a decision, the club made a decision, Scotland made a decision. It wasn’t just me who made it. So I didn’t play on it.’
‘I’m not going into the game and saying ‘I don’t want to play for Scotland’. I’ve had four injuries where I have been out for months on the end of playing on astroturf – with Scotland as well.’
‘It was a bad result and I would have loved to have played in it, but I didn’t. I needed to come out on Sunday night and show what I could do if I got the opportunity.’
‘At the end of the day I need to look after myself as well. If I go out and do a knee, it’s career-threatening.’
‘I would have loved to have played. It’s one of them that is taken out of my hands as well. All I can do is get back in the team and try my best and do what I can do. It was frustrating watching it.’
Quotes via Sky Sports