Reading FC boss defends decision to drop Danny Guthrie
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Out of favour: Reading FC's Danny Guthrie.
BRIAN McDermott has defended his decision to overlook Danny Guthrie.
Guthrie was Reading FC's marquee signing last summer when he joined on a free transfer from Newcastle United.
But he has been in and out of the side all season and has not started a Premier League game since the 2-2 draw with Chelsea on January 30.
The 25-year-old has also suffered a series of fall outs with McDermott, the latest coming last week when Guthrie used Twitter to post a picture of himself from a computer game alongside the words 'For Sale.'
Guthrie has now quit Twitter, stating he wants to concentrate on Reading's survival battle. Nevertheless, his omission from the team has raised eyebrows, with fans questioning whether McDermott can afford to leave out such a talented player during a relegation dogfight.
Similar questions are also being asked about Daniel Carrico's lack of games following his January move from Sporting Lisbon and the absence of Nicky Shorey from the squad.
McDermott set the record straight this week, stating: "You can only put 18 players in the squad, that's the situation. Nick Blackman came on at Everton and did well, Hal Robson-Kanu did well and scored.
"I said to the boys in the dressing room, the way we have to do things is to stick together, if you are in the squad or not we have to stick together.
"If we can do that and take that into the next 10 games we might just do this."
He added: "When anybody is not in the 18-man squad they are disappointed. I'm sure Danny would not want to be talking about reactions, he would rather talk about football.
"We have had previous incidents when we have talked about things that weren't football related. Danny doesn't want to talk about that, we are in this together and wants Reading to do well and wants us to win games."
Pressure is mounting on McDermott to recall Guthrie for tomorrow's relegation six-pointer at home to Aston Villa (3pm ko), with Reading looking to end a run of three straight league defeats.
"All I can do is pick the 11 players in the team and 18 in the squad and that's what I am paid to do. It is never easy, there are always difficult decisions," added Royals' boss.
"I don't feel nervous about bringing any players in, I put them in the team and never feel nervous about their quality."
READING FC midfielder Jay Tabb has joined Ipswich Town on a one-month loan deal.
The 29-year-old is due to become a free agent when his contract expires this summer.
This article appeared in Bracknell News 08 Mar 13