Danny Guthrie can only get stronger in new position
NEWCASTLE United boss Chris Hughton believes Danny Guthrie will go from strength to strength in his new central midfield role – as he backed him to maintain his newly-discovered goal threat.
Since moving into the centre and disrupting Kevin Nolan and Alan Smith’s grip on the midfield engine room, Guthrie has been a revelation, adding creativity to an area that has been solid if unspectacular this season.
Nolan and Smith were the first-choice central pairing for most of the early part of the season but after injuries forced a re-think on Hughton’s part, Guthrie flourished in the rout of Barnsley.
Indeed, he has played a pivotal part in United’s more fluent, attacking performances at home since the turn of the year – his creativity helping Hughton’s men notch some impressive results.
The 22-year-old is playing his best football in black and white since signing from Liverpool and scored twice in the defeat of the Tykes to take his tally to five this season.
It is a contribution that has not gone unnoticed by Hughton, who will again hand Guthrie a central role in the absence of Smith for the trip
to Middlesbrough on Saturday. “Danny Guthrie is a very good footballer and has done very well lately,” Hughton said.
“He can play anywhere across the midfield but he is playing particularly well at the moment and he is still developing. I believe he has plenty of improvement still in him – he was brought here because of his abilities on the ball.