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Kurtis Guthrie ahead of Cambridge United

26 February 2021

Since his arrival to the club in the January transfer window, Guthrie has been a mainstay in the side making an appearance in every game and starting in five of them. The striker has been unlucky not to have his name on the score sheet as of yet but his ability to hold the ball up and bring his teammates into play has been vital to the results, he has been involved in.

The 27-year-old signed a contract with the club up until the end of the 2020-21 season as a fresh start and a new challenge. Guthrie spent early parts of his career in non-league which has shaped him into the player he is now, preparing him for the challenge of becoming a professional player and an experienced striker in the EFL.

It has not been the most straightforward of starts at Vale Park for him, signing for the club with no full-time manager in place before Darrell Clarke was brought in to take charge of the first team squad. He made his debut for the club in the away fixture at Forest Green where we secured a 1-1 draw and since then he has enjoyed his time at the club so far.

He said “Yeah, it’s been good to be fair. The boys have been very welcoming, obviously a lot has happened since I’ve arrived. Changes here, there and everywhere but it’s a club that is going in the right direction and I’m happy to be here.

“For me I wanted to go somewhere I felt wanted, somewhere I felt appreciated and it’s been countless windows now where Port Vale have seen to be in the mix every time and it was definitely part of swaying my decision to come.

“I’ve always wanted to be somebody who can bring in players around me, I don’t see myself as a selfish player. Obviously, I’d like to be in the goals, at the minute for some reason it’s just not dropping for me. All I can do is just keep persevering and hopefully that changes but in the meantime it’s important that I work hard for the team and show other parts of my game and hopefully I’ve been doing that since I’ve been here.”

Guthrie continued: “For a striker like myself who thrives off chances and people threading balls in, good quality crosses into the box. Unfortunately, it’s been hit and miss at the minute but all you can do is just work hard, if things aren’t going well for you on the ball you’ve just got to help other people. If I’m the furthest one up then I know I’ve got to take the defence away so that creates space for the midfielders in the pocket for them to get their goals so as long as I’m contributing in some sense then I can take some happiness from that.”

“D’s (Devante Rodney) a great talent, he’s got all the attributes to go on and have a fantastic career, I think when I was his age and you’re playing upfront. I think it’s learning the role, so there’s just little things that he’s obviously going to pick up, if that’s where he’s going to play in that position then that’s obviously going to help his partner.”

He added “D’s got a lot of ability and he’s listening as well, if I tell him ‘go left, go right’ or ‘come this side of me’ he’s a willing runner and he’s happy to put in the work so yeah, he’s definitely got some potential there.”

There was no manager in place when Guthrie made the move to Burslem which exemplifies how well the owners and board presented the club to him and the vision moving forward. The striker wanted to be a part of this and is determined on showing what he can bring to the team and is doing all he can to help the team push up the table.

“The main thing for me is, when I spoke to Pughy (Danny Pugh) when I was joining and Colin (Garlick) is that the club wanted to move in the right direction. They wanted to put things in place that are going to then elevate the whole football club, not just the short term but the long term.”

“That’s definitely something that I want to be a part of so I always knew there was a possibility that Pughy wouldn’t be in charge for much longer but it was still something that I was drawn to. I like the challenge and I think it’s an exciting project to be apart of at this current time.”

On Darrell Clarke, Guthrie said: “He’s full of energy, he’s very passionate, he’s got very clear ideas of how he wants us to play and go about our business. How he wants us to conduct ourselves in and around the place and obviously on the pitch and training ground. For me personally I like his energy, I like what he’s about, he’s very upfront with you if you feel a certain way, he’s going to tell you.”

Guthrie has a very clear mind going into the summer when his contract is up. He feels all you can do is your best and hopes that the club likes his performances. The forward has clearly enjoyed his time at the club so far, his hard work in games up to this point is proof of that. But he is still hungry for his first goal and wants to enjoy his football.

“You’ve just got to go out there and do what you do and if someone likes you, it’s good enough and if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t. You can’t put too much emphasis on that because then you’re just going to find yourself coming in everyday not enjoying your work.”

“You’re just going to be under an immense amount of pressure and although the pressure is fine, it’s not healthy. I play football because I love the game, I love playing football, so if I do it correctly then I have no doubts that other things will come in the future.”

Looking ahead to Cambridge Guthrie explained: “It’s just another game, at this level everybody beats everybody and if anything, you should be even more excited and up for them sort of games and if you come away with the three points at the end, it’s a much better feeling.”


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