John Terry spoke for the first time last night about Fabio Capello's resignation as England manager and thanked the Italian coach for standing by him in spite of the Football Association's insistence that the defender be stripped of the captaincy of the national team for a second time.
Ahead of tonight's Champions League second-leg game against Napoli in the first knockout round of the competition, Terry (right) also hit back at suggestions that the senior players run Chelsea.
The 31-year-old took just one question on the departure of Capello – posed by an Italian journalist in spite of the club's insistence that the subject be avoided.
Terry said: "Quite clearly, Fabio backed me. That comes from a relationship with myself and him, the relationship we built up. I stood for him on the football pitch, and he stood up for me off the pitch. I respect him as a man and for what he did for me. Complete respect both ways."
Terry, whose team trail Napoli 3-1 from the first leg three weeks ago, said that it was simply the "perception from outside" that the players were able to get Chelsea managers sacked. He said: "That is completely untrue. What I said was, as a group of players collectively – and Andre [Villas-Boas] would be in that with us, because we're all responsible for the results we have. But, unfortunately, as the manager, it fell on Andre's head. We'd hold our hands up and say that we are to blame as well.
"As for the senior players running this football club, that's nonsense. Roman and the board make the decisions. But on the football pitch, that can affect what happens upstairs, of course. If we don't win matches, the board step in. But speculating from outside, or previous managers, that's complete nonsense."