Newcastle United midfielder Danny Guthrie says he is unfazed by the prospect of battling Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote for a place in Alan Pardew's starting line-up.
Guthrie, 24, has been displaced as a regular in the Magpies' midfield this season by the excellent Cabaye and Tiote, though he has played the past three games in succession in the wake of the latter being injured.
A low point this season for the former Liverpool midfielder was being left out of the matchday squad for Newcastle's 2-2 draw against Tottenham but he has enjoyed a turnaround in fortunes since then and says he is determined to stay and fight for his place in Pardew's first XI.
"There's no bitterness," Guthrie told the Daily Mirror. "The manager picks the team and that's that. It's been a frustrating few months. I was injured in pre-season for the second time in a row and that makes it really difficult. You feel like you're always playing catch-up.
"It's a bit of a double-edged sword, watching Yohan Cabaye and Tiote do so well. It's frustrating because you're desperate to be playing, but it's also great to watch them playing like that, because you want the team to do well.
"You can still take pleasure from watching them do a great tackle or play a really good ball. Some of the things Cheik, in particular, does, you just have to sit back and admire."
Guthrie's current Newcastle contract runs out at the end of the season, but he insists he is keen to stay at St James' Park and revealed that the club have indicated they will open discussions over a new deal soon.
"It's brilliant to hear talk about a new contract," Guthrie said. "There's been no rush to this point. Even though I'm out of contract in the summer, it's been important for me to concentrate on playing well. The priority has been nailing my place down in the team, then thoughts can turn to talks about a contract.
"I'm desperate to stay though. I really enjoy it here and have loved working under the manager. I've had a few in my time! It seems like he's (Pardew) here for the long haul, so hopefully I will be too.
"It would be brilliant to become firmly established as a week in, week out Premier League player. I'm at a good age now, I'm settled and I feel as though I'm ready to start hitting my peak as a player."
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