Danny Guthrie is a man in a hurry. A hurry to show what he can do for Fulham in the remaining games this season. A free agent in the summer, he admits his loan move to Fulham is essentially something of a prolonged trial.
Should he impress, the Reading midfielder knows a permanent deal could be in the offing. If that doesn’t materialise, then at least he’s got the chance to put himself in the shop window during his stint in SW6.
“It’s a good opportunity for me to play games and impress someone at Fulham or someone who’s watching,” he told the official matchday programme for the game against Wigan Athletic – our official charity match for Prostate Cancer UK. “But my main focus is to keep the Club safe; the quicker that happens, the better. That’s the priority and after that we’ll see what occurs.
“I’m enjoying it here, it’s a really great Club with good facilities. I didn’t know anyone beforehand but it’s a good group of lads and I’d played against Fulham a few times in my career.
“At the start of the season, I thought Fulham would be one of the teams who’d have a push for promotion. But I know exactly what it’s like - we had the same expectations at Reading where we should have been a lot further up the table.
“I understand how it happens and how quickly things can change. It doesn’t make you a bad team or bad players, it just means something’s not going right. That can be down to confidence a lot of the time. But coming here and seeing the standard of players, it’s obvious the Club is going to push on.”
Born in Shrewsbury, Guthrie grew up down the road in Telford. He spent time on the books of Manchester United as a youngster, before joining Liverpool’s academy at the age of 15. Four years later he made his first-team debut for the Reds as a 62nd-minute substitute in a 4-3 League Cup win over Reading at Anfield in October of the 2006/07 season. His first start came in a UEFA Champions League tie away in Galatasaray.
Loan spells with Southampton and Bolton Wanderers followed, before a permanent switch to Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United for £2.5m in the summer of 2008. Four years later he joined Reading.
The Royals were relegated in Guthrie’s first season in Berkshire. He then played 33 times in the Championship last term, scoring on four occasions, as they finished seventh and just missed out on the Play-Offs. But first-team chances would prove limited this term.
“Injuries played a massive part,” he explained. “It’s been really stop-start. Once I was able to get fit, the new manager [Steve Clarke] came in. I was out of contract this summer and wasn’t going to sign a new deal so the manager wanted to look after the lads who were going to be there next season. I’ve got no problem with that; I understood the situation. I was going to move on in the summer and I’m just glad I could come here before the end of the season.”
To read the full interview with Guthrie, get your hands on a copy of the matchday programme against Wigan on Friday.
Other exclusive highlights in the only matchday magazine that matters - which is also available to download digitally from 12pm on Friday - are:
Priced £3.50, the 84-page publication is available from various sellers on Stevenage Road from two hours before kick-off. Or order it online from ProgrammeMaster.
For just £1.99, the programme is also available as a digital download with added video content from 12pm on Friday, so whether you’re at home or away, you need never be without it on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, PC or Mac via Apple’s Newsstand or Pocketmags.