Kurtis Guthrie is a true number nine – Colchester United boss

U's boss John McGreal clenches his fist after his side secured a point from a 1-1 draw at Newport on

U's boss John McGreal clenches his fist after his side secured a point from a 1-1 draw at Newport on Saturday - Credit: Richard Blaxall / Colchester Uni

Kurtis Guthrie has been hailed by Colchester United manager John McGreal, having firmly established himself in the U’s starting 11.

The summer signing from Forest Green is making the most of his second chance in League football, having had a spell at League Two Accrington Stanley, when he was younger.

Arguably the highlight of his career so far came a fortnight ago when he scored a hat-trick in the 4-1 home win over Carlisle – the treble taking his tally to nine for the season.

McGreal said: “He has got himself up into the centre-forward area, scoring quite a number of goals of late, but he is a huge handful.

“Kurtis is a true number nine, he has linked well with Denny Johnstone and now with Chris Porter coming in.

“We know we have got a potent strikeforce at the minute, and whether we go with two of the three or one of the three on Saturday you know they are going to be a threat.

“Kurtis on his own has been a constant threat throughout the season. He came into the midfield earlier in the season and he will give it (midfield) a go.

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“He wears his heart on his sleeve, he will run for 90 minutes, he will chase paper if you ask him. He wants to improve.

“Looking back from the start of the season to where he is now, he has improved hugely as a player and also as a person.”

As for Porter, he returned the side after a two-month injury lay-Off, helping the U’s to their recent 1-0 win at Luton, and McGreal believes the influence of such a senior figure can only benefit the younger players.

“We have managed to get the more experienced players back into the team, the likes of Owen Garvan, George Elokobi and Chris,” McGreal explained.

“They help in games but also in training. Training literally just flows now, it’s fantastic.”

Guthrie scored for the U’s in September when McGreal’s men lost the reverse fixture to tomorrow’s opponents, Exeter, at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.

The U’s go into tomorrow’s game with seven wins and two draws from nine, while the Gecians, under long-serving boss, Paul Tisdale, have scored 11 goals in their last three league games and are unbeaten in their previous eight matches.

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