John Terry has reiterated his willingness to be patient for a first-team spot as we approach the season’s run-in.
The club captain led us to victory in Switzerland on Thursday night, but acknowledges he could be back on the bench when Swansea City visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday. If so, he says he will understand Rafael Benitez’s decision, and then look forward to the return leg in the Europa League on Thursday.
‘I accept it whether I’m first, second, third or fourth choice,’ said the 32-year-old. ‘The Europa League has been my competition, my lifeline after the injury. I was disappointed not to be fit when Rafa came in to show him what I’m about. Ideally I want to play as many games as I can but I respect the manager’s decision and will continue to work hard.
‘This year has been frustrating for me and picking up the injury. Other guys have played well and I’ve no qualms with them or the manager.
‘The guys below me are doing well and have youth on their side. I’ve been doing extra work when I’m not playing, which is important, and I’m ready and fighting.’
Terry is hoping the trip to Europe in midweek will not have negatively impacted our preparations for Swansea.
‘We looked a little bit tired. The game in the second half was end to end and it would have been nice to have killed it off,’ he said. ‘We had some chances, as soon as they scored we had a chance and the response was great.
‘We’ve had a lot of long journeys and tough games, and it doesn’t serve us well in the league. Maybe it’s affected the league situation, but this is important to the club.
‘[The Europa League] is not where we want to be but we’re in it, we’ve travelled to some tough places which makes the league games hard but the manager has rotated and looked to keep people fresh as well.
‘It would be great, we’re in it to win it. It’s on the agenda, as well as coming third or fourth and getting that Champions League spot.’
Three points against Michael Laudrup’s side tomorrow will be critical to achieving the second of those goals. Terry will play his part whether on the field or not.
– Some hospitality packages remain for Sunday’s game.