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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Guthrie apologises for no-show

Reading manager Brian McDermott has praised Danny Guthrie after the midfielder apologised for refusing to play in the 3-1 Premier League defeat against Sunderland.

• Blog: Optimism scarce

McDermott had claimed that Guthrie didn't travel with the Reading squad to the Stadium of Light because "his head wasn't right" – but Guthrie apologised for the incident before training on Thursday morning.

"Importantly, we can all put this to bed now," McDermott told the club's official website. "Every person in life makes mistakes and Danny apologised to all of his teammates and the staff in a group meeting today.

"He asked me if he could speak to the entire group before training, it took a lot of courage for him to do that and he deserves respect for his reaction.

"Now myself, the players and staff will all move on. We have 22 games ahead of us and together as one unit we can achieve our goals for Reading Football Club and for you the supporters."

In a separate interview with the Reading Post, Guthrie had attempted to wipe the slate clean and stressed his commitment to the struggling club.

"I hold my hands up and apologise," he said. "It's something that we will deal with internally.

"There's no problem with anyone. I have my reasons for what happened, it shouldn't have happened, but it did. My head just wasn't right."

"I love being at this club - I just want to play football. I've never had problems anywhere I have been and I just want to get back to playing football. This is a very rare situation for me."

Guthrie, 25, has made just six appearances for Reading since a summer move from Newcastle. His last action came in the 1-0 league defeat against Liverpool on October 20.

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