DANNY Guthrie’s put his injury problems behind him – and is determined to force his way into the reckoning.
The midfielder missed the start of Newcastle United’s campaign with an ankle injury suffered in the club’s first pre-season friendly at Darlington.
But the 24-year-old’s now fully fit, and he’s one option for manager Alan Pardew should Yohan Cabaye fail to recover from the ankle problem he suffered playing for France on Friday in time for Sunday’s game against Tottenham Hotspur.
“Hopefully, I’ve put the injuries behind me,” Guthrie said. “I’ve just got to wait for the opportunity to get in the team and stake my claim.
“It was frustrating last season as well because of all the injuries.
“It was an ankle injury – I was out eight weeks or so. It was the same injury I had at the back end of last season.
“It was a ligament injury I picked up at Aston Villa. I had a full summer of rest and a good two weeks before the Darlington game I was fine.”
The injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Guthrie, who is out of contract at the end of the season.
However, Guthrie insists his sole focus is making an impression on the pitch.
“I’m not worried about deals or things like that – I’ve got six months left from January, and there’s no rush,” he said. “I’m happy with how things are going, and I just want to get back in the team. We’ll assess it in January.”
Cabaye could yet play in tonight’s decisive Euro 2012 qualifier at home to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
However, should the problem prove more serious, then Guthrie – who was a late substitute in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers – would relish an opportunity.
Guthrie topped up his fitness with a run out for United’s reserves in their 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers last week.
The former Liverpool player has for the most part watched from the bench as Newcastle have made a hugely promising start to the Premier League season, with Pardew’s unbeaten side lying fourth in the division.
While the club doesn’t have the star names it did when Guthrie signed in 2008, it has something money can’t buy – team spirit.
“It’s fantastic – it feels a bit sweeter knowing it’s not expected,” said Guthrie.
“We lost some big players in the summer, and obviously we were doubted again.
“It’s nice to go on a run have people eat their words a little bit.
“There aren’t too many players here from when I first came. It’s strange. I’ve had four or five managers as well, but we’ve found a nice balance at the minute.
“We’re playing well, and there’s no need for any changes, or anything drastic, we’ve just got to keep on doing what we’ve been doing.
“We know it’s still very early, and that there’ll be low points this season, but it’s nice to enjoy the good times.
“Some people will argue we’ve had better individuals over the last four years, but team-wise, as a unit this is the best I’ve seen and been involved in.
“That goes for the lads that don’t even get on the bench – it’s a top standard at the minute.
“As long as we can stay injury-free, and stay fit, we’ll be OK.
“It’s right through the club at the minute – the Under-18s, reserves and first team are all unbeaten.
“It just shows that when things go well for the first team, they can go well throughout the club. There’s a good buzz now. We just want to keep it going.”