Terry pleased by young stars' progress
Chelsea captain John Terry insists the club's 'young guns' are beginning to make their mark on the first team.
The England defender is likely to miss tomorrow's Carling Cup third-round tie against Newcastle at Stamford Bridge with a rib injury.
His absence will allow young centre-half Jeffrey Bruma to start alongside Alex or Branislav Ivanovic against the Magpies.
In recent weeks, Chelsea have blooded a number of their talented youngsters and Gael Kakuta, Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt and Daniel Sturridge will all get another chance to further their first-team ambitions against United.
And the move towards incorporating more of the club's young stars in a first-team environment meets with the full approval of Terry.
"We have a great squad of players mixed with some very good young players who are making their mark on the team," Terry said.
"These opportunities are not only great for them but also for our youth system and credit goes to everyone working hard in the academy.
"The manager has spoken about the importance of strength in our squad this season and competition for places is always a good thing."
Chelsea are currently four points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League having scored 21 goals in winning their first five games, and Terry wants to see their fine start continue, especially with tough league games against Manchester City and Arsenal coming up.
"We've started well, we're passing the ball with confidence at the moment and getting at teams in behind when we can," he added.
"But the important thing is we don't stop doing these things because while a good start is obviously important, it is going to come down to consistency at some point and we know all about that from experience here."
Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull is looking forward to playing against the team he supported as a boy tomorrow night.
Chelsea are likely to rest Petr Cech to allow Turnbull his first start of the season for the Blues.
The 25-year-old grew-up in Durham and was a huge Newcastle fan before turning professional with local rivals Middlesbrough.
"A lot of my family were supporters too and we had season tickets when we were younger so I'll be looking forward to the game," Turnbull said.
"Everyone likes to play against their boyhood team, so I'm looking forward to it.
"They seem to have done fine since they've been back up in the Premier League. I look for their results but my interest doesn't go much further than that anymore, and I'm sure they will have a good season.
"Everyone wants to play football and it's a good chance for me to play well.
"I'm not sure what the manager plans to do with the Carling Cup side. Last year Petr was rested but whether that continues I don't know, it is his decision and I'll go along with it, but from a personal point of view I'd obviously like to continue if we get through."