Guthrie refused to play for the Royals against the Black Cats on Tuesday night, a game which the visitors lost 3-0, and has reportedly been docked two weeks' wages for his decision to make himself unavailable for selection.
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The former Newcastle man texted his manager to apologise after the game and McDermott insists he will not allow the mentality in the squad to be damaged as a result.
He told the media: “It is an unfortunate situation to say the least.
“The most important thing to me is the group and the spirit and that will never change. The individual’s ego has to go out of the window.
“That’s why we have been successful over the past few years. That is why we have done so well over the past three years.
“This football club is in a better place than it was three years ago, a better place than it was a year ago, there is no doubt about that.
“We know where we are at and we need everyone going in the same direction.”