independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

'Rafa's wrong - I'm fit to play twice a week' John Terry undermines Chelsea manager

Chelsea skipper John Terry
Chelsea skipper John Terry

JOHN TERRY has put himself at odds with Rafael Benitez by rubbishing any suggestion he was not fit enough to play twice a week for Chelsea after returning from injury.

Interim manager Benitez said in February that Terry was in a “vicious circle” as the defender battled back from two months out with a troublesome knee problem.

Benitez gave Terry the all clear last month but has continued to play his captain just once a week as he rotates his squad during what has been a punishing fixture schedule of unprecedented proportions.

Terry insisted he had "no complaints" with Benitez’s rotation policy after marking his latest recall with two goals in Wednesday night’s 3-0 win at Fulham, helping propel Chelsea back up to third place in the Premier League.

But he was equally adamant he could play “three games a week if need be” and poured scorn on claims he had been unable to do so after making his comeback in January.

"I don’t know where that arose from," he said. "I'm fit, I’m training every day and have been for the last three months, so I just want to set the record straight.

"I'm available but, at the same time, if the manager chooses not to pick me and decides to go with the others, there is not a problem because I’m Chelsea through and through and I want nothing more than to get Champions League football.

"If that means me playing, great. If not, I will be the biggest supporter in the dressing room."

Terry and vice-captain Frank Lampard were both controversially left on the bench for Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.

Admitting it had been hard to watch at Wembley, Terry added: "Obviously, myself and Frank have a good record there, but I don’t have a problem with the manager choosing other players in front of me.

"It’s down to me to work hard and maybe prove him wrong."

Terry also acknowledged he did not know where he would stand once Gary Cahill returned from injury.

"I don’t know where that puts me in the pecking order or what," he said.

"All I can do is train hard, work hard and, when I do get a chance, play well.

"Obviously the goals are an added bonus for me.

"If the manager is straight with me and tells me, that’s totally fine."

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