Danny Guthrie revealed he opted against entering contract talks at Rovers after relegation from the Championship, fearing staying at Ewood Park could have ended his dream of playing overseas.

Guthrie was never more than a fringe player, largely because of injury, in his two year stint with Rovers prior to Tony Mowbray’s arrival. But the midfielder became a key man as Mowbray replaced Owen Coyle in February 2017, playing in 12 of Rovers’ final 15 games, including a goalscoring appearance on the final day win at Brentford.

That wasn’t enough to help Rovers avoid the drop in to League One, with Guthrie taking up the option of seeking pastures new as his deal at Ewood Park came to a close.

His next move was a while in the making, waiting until January 2018 to agree a deal with Mitra Kukar in Indonesia’s top flight. Now plying his trade with League Two side Walsall, after his spell in Asia came to an end, Guthrie said staying at Rovers could have ended his chances of achieving a career aim of playing abroad.

“I was coming to the end of my contract at Blackburn I’d just turned 30,” he said.

“My worry was if I signed for Blackburn for another two or three years, I might not have the opportunity to go somewhere.

“I had to do it, I’d always wanted to go abroad and be put in a situation to learn something new.

“No-one goes abroad without it being financially rewarding and that was a factor as well, but it was something I always wanted to do and it felt like the right time.”

Guthrie played seven times for Liverpool before taking in loan spells with Bolton and Southampton, but it was in 2008 after a £2.5m move to Newcastle that his career starting to gather pace.

He played 105 times for the Magpies before arriving at Ewood Park in 2015 after spells with Reading and a loan spell at Fulham.

But having played much of his career in the top two tiers of the English game, the Telford-born midfielder felt the time was right to try his hand overseas.

“It was an ambition of mine to go and play abroad and go and test myself in a new country with a new language,” he told the Express & Star.

“My kids were still young enough to do it and I felt if I waited any longer I wouldn’t be able to take them.

“They could live in Bali for a year, which was brilliant, and it felt that I had to do it at that time.

“I was really excited to do it and I loved every minute of it. It was testing but great, the standard of living was brilliant and we really enjoyed it.”

Guthrie returned to the Midlands in the summer, agreeing a deal with League Two side Walsall, and has played 28 times this season.

“I got back from Asia and it was coming towards the summer, I had a phone call with the manager and he’s great with his enthusiasm,” he said.

“It was a new project for him and Walsall after coming down from League One.

“Location obviously played a part, but after speaking to the manager and coming in for a week in pre-season, I was desperate to join.”