Howe praises Fraser and Willock after Newcastle's 1-1 draw at West Ham
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Howe praises Fraser and Willock after Newcastle's 1-1 draw at West Ham

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe praised midfielders Ryan Fraser and Joe Willock after his side’s impressive 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Willock netted the equaliser right on half time with his first goal of the season to earn a point and extended the unbeaten run to six games.

Fraser was also handed more attacking responsibility in the absence of Allan Saint-Maximin and Howe praised the Scotland international in an interview with BT Sport after the game.

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On Willock, Howe said: “Last season, he scored some crucial goals for the club and he was excellent for them. What a signing last year.

“This year, since I’ve come in, he’s grown and grown and grown with each performance. He’s got better and better, that goal was coming. I’m really pleased for him because he’s got his head down and got his reward today.

“He’s got that athleticism and he’s very good out of possession as well. He was driving us forward today from midfield, and he’s been a key component in recent matches.”

On Fraser, he added: “I thought he was excellent today, played a key part in our goal and again he’s another player who is improving with every week.”

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Fraser may become more and more important if Saint-Maximin is out for any length of time and he stepped up to the plate today.

He did come off with a knock he picked up after tackling back late on and it is to be hoped that is nothing serious because he played well and Newcastle cannot really afford too many more absentees.

It is to be hoped that Willock can build on this performance where he was one of the best midfielders on the pitch where he was up against England international Declan Rice.