RYAN Fraser admits seeing his close friends depart Cherries in recent years has been “hard to take”, adding “you end up just going home and doing nothing”.

Of Cherries’ current squad only Simon Francis, Steve Cook and Charlie Daniels have been part of the first team at the club longer than Fraser, who arrived from Aberdeen in January 2013.

A number of club stalwarts who helped Cherries rise up through the leagues have moved on in the past couple of seasons, including Fraser’s close friend Marc Pugh who joined Queens Park Rangers on a free transfer in the summer.

And while many talented players have been brought into the squad, Fraser says losing big characters has had an effect.

The Scot told the Daily Echo: “It’s hard because obviously I’ve seen very good friends leave like Marc Pugh.

“I almost expected him to maybe stay here for another two or three seasons because his body, you never thought the age that he was because he kept himself in such peak condition.

“He was good around the lads and you don’t always need to have those faces out on the pitch, they need to be in the changing room as well where they can bring players together and keep players’ feet on the ground.

“We’ve lost some big players over the last couple of seasons which, especially for me, has been hard because obviously he’s a very good friend of mine. The new faces have come in and done well, but it just takes time.”

Asked how tough it was to see Pugh depart, Fraser said: “He’s my best mate off the pitch so to see him go on loan (to Hull) was hard. I was obviously back to being a loner again!

“Pughie is Pughie. You can’t say a bad word about Pughie. He’s probably one of the nicest guys. Nath (Ake) is up there as well and then I’d say myself maybe third!

“There’s no bad word to say about Pughie. His professionalism, on the pitch he’ll give everything but off the pitch he’s the best family man I’ve seen.

“He’ll look out for you. Like last year he just invited me round for Christmas.

“My family weren’t down, I hadn’t seen them in maybe a year and then Pughie just asked me to go for Christmas with him.

“He didn’t have to do it but that’s just the type of guy he is.”

But it was not just Pugh’s departure which Fraser has found tough to come to terms with.

He said: “Me, Shaun MacDonald and Wes Fogden always used to do stuff together.

“So obviously losing one and then we keep losing them and then last season was hard – I used to go and have a coffee with Pughie, but it wasn’t like that. So you end up just going home and doing nothing.

“It’s hard to take.”

Asked if he has formed any close bonds with members of the current squad, Fraser added: “I’m very good friends with Nath and Goso (Dan Gosling) but I’m just meaning the core unit, like with Pughie, you knew when he would come into training he’d give everything.

“He just brought everyone together.

“I think we do miss that.”