Guthrie: I forced Port Vale switch to end Bradford blues

KURTIS GUTHRIE says a desire to ‘feel appreciated’ was behind his move from Bradford City to League Two rivals Port Vale.

The Islander came off the bench to make his debut in a 1-1 draw against Forest Green Rovers, having had his latest switch confirmed just 24 hours earlier. Guthrie joined Bradford from Stevenage on deadline day in January 2020 but failed to make an impact for the former Premier League club and ended his spell there training alone.

‘The gaffer who signed me at Bradford [Gary Bowyer] was sacked the day after,’ said the former Le Rocquier student. ‘And I didn’t really mesh with the new manager [Stuart McCall]. The way he went about things just wasn’t for me.

‘I decided to stay in the summer to try to make it work but sometimes the club just doesn’t fit. When this transfer window came about I went to them and said “listen, I have to leave. I don’t want to be here”.’

Guthrie joined Vale on a short-term deal last week – taking him to the end of the current campaign.

‘I wanted something short term so I can just play football and then I’ll evaluate in the summer,’ the 27-year-old explained. ‘If I like it here I’ll be more than happy to stay. If I do really well, I’ll evaluate my options.

‘The CEO and head of recruitment here had been trying to get me to come for a while but I’d gone with other things for one reason or another. For me now, I want to feel appreciated. The guys wanted to bring me in and it felt like a good fit with the way the new gaffer [interim boss Danny Pugh] wants to play. I’ve been here a few days now and all the boys have welcomed me. I’m looking forward to kicking on.’

Pugh, who was appointed Vale manager two weeks ago, was sent into isolation on Monday afternoon after testing positive for Covid-19 and misses the next two league games as a result.

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