Jose Mourinho says he is delighted with the progress John Terry has made so far this season.
The manager spoke on Friday afternoon about the player being in good shape this season but with injury and squad rotation limiting Terry to 27 appearances for the Blues last season, Mourinho, talking further on the subject, admits that despite our skipper’s long-established presence at the heart of our defence, a degree of physical and mental recovery was required.
‘Since pre-season in Asia, our focus with John was not his contract, or the national team. Our focus was just to try to recover his status as an important player. You can be very experienced and have a big status but when the injuries come and the manager has doubts about whether you are ready to play the big matches, and you are in and out of the team, sometimes your self-esteem can be a bit attacked.
‘Football is about the present, not the past,’ Mourinho continues. ‘John had a bad season – injuries, changing cultures, changing manager, managers’ decisions. Sometimes players go up and down because of injuries and decisions. That’s normal.
‘The first thing is his fitness. He had a very good pre-season and put himself in a good condition to start the season. Now we don’t put him under pressure to play five or six consecutive matches. It’s better to play two in a row and get really fit, then be ready physically to cope with the sequence of matches.
‘In this moment he is fine. It doesn’t mean that he will always be first choice for me, and he knows that, but he also knows that I trust him and I am happy with the way he is performing. The situation for him now is good.’
Mourinho also had words of support for another of our centre-backs, Gary Cahill. The England defender again impressed on international duty, playing the full 90 minutes in both of his national side’s recent wins, and Mourinho expects him to be back in the Chelsea team before long.
‘I trust Gary and I like him very much. I don’t like to leave players on the bench that are good players and good professionals. I want to help him and I don’t want to make his life difficult.
‘I would never do something that would jeopardise his selection for the national team. There’s no doubt he is going to play a lot. Who knows, in a couple of weeks I will change my mind because of performances and he becomes again my first option.
‘Since they started playing together John and David Luiz are playing well and they are giving stability. Gary is a very good player and he has to play, so I can say three very good central defenders for two positions.
‘From match to match I will read the game and try to make the best option for the team.
‘The whole squad is full of good players. I will never leave somebody out for four or five matches in a row. I will make rotations and everybody will have chances to play.
‘In the case of Gary I have to make him happy, I have to make him play and then he will go to the national team happy.’
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