Terry: We must keep faith in Ancelotti

Captain calls on Chelsea players to pull together but fears 'disaster' of not qualifying for the Champions League

John Terry last night warned Chelsea and Roman Abramovich against sacking their manager, Carlo Ancelotti, in an appeal for stability at the club amid their desperate run of results.

Ahead of tonight's Champions League tie against FC Copenhagen, the Chelsea captain issued an unconditional backing for Ancelotti, whose position has become ever more vulnerable during the club's worst run under Abramovich. He also conceded that it was time for the players to take responsibility for a sequence of four wins in 11 Premier League games, results that have left Chelsea 12 points behind the leaders Manchester United.

Terry said: "All the players, everyone involved in the club called for that [stability], and we've got that in Carlo. He's a great guy, a great manager. The players are 100 per cent behind the manager. He's got complete confidence in us, and we do with him.

"It now needs to come. At times we've had players out through injury and we've missed big characters at times, but it's down to myself, Lamps [Frank Lampard] and Didier [Drogba], and the rest of the squad who have a responsibility, to look at their own form and characters and deliver. We've always come out the other end. We aim to stay together as a team and start winning sooner rather than later."

Ancelotti will start with Fernando Torres in attack tonight and is expected once again to leave out Drogba, who started Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round defeat to Everton, in order to accommodate the £50m man. Jose Bosingwa will come back in at right-back for Paulo Ferreira.

Out of the FA Cup and way off pace in the Premier League, Terry said that the club's worst fears were that they would not be able to overhaul Tottenham and Manchester City for the fourth Champions League qualifying place. If Spurs beat Blackpool tonight they will be five points ahead of Chelsea, after the same number of games, should the latter lose to United a week today.

"The worst thing to think about is looking at Spurs and City, and they're playing well and picking up points," Terry said. "It would be disastrous for the football club if we didn't qualify for the Champions League. It's hard to get my head around it now. It's still not over. We've got a small chance [of the title] and we're going to keep fighting. If we lose to United, it could be over. But then we'll have to fight for a top three."

Terry denied "100 per cent" that Chelsea were a spent force with an ageing squad. "I heard this at the end of last year when we went through a bad spell. You get the people saying the squad is past its best, and then we win the Double. No one apologises for the statements they made. We're a year older, but that doesn't take away the quality we have. The manager has brought in two world-class players in Fernando and David [Luiz, ineligible tonight]. We have under-achieved, and want to be higher, but believe we've still got the quality and, with these guys coming in, we can push."

Chelsea's opponents tonight are the runaway leaders of the Danish league by 19 points and drew with Barcelona in their Parken Stadium in November. However, they have not played a competitive match since 7 December because of the Danish league's winter break. The Danes are taking encouragement from the Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, who beat Roma in Italy last week having not played a competitive game for 70 days.

The temperatures are expected to fall below freezing tonight and, unlike when England played Denmark in the stadium, the club are forbidden by Uefa from closing the roof and pumping in warm air. A defeat for Chelsea, who play the return leg on 16 March, will further increase the pressure on Ancelotti. Yesterday Terry also addressed Ray Wilkins' departure from the club in November and the side's subsequent slump in form.

"I don't think it [the decision] destabilised [Chelsea]. Ray was a massive asset. It was a decision that the owner made. We accepted it and moved on. We can say we missed him, but knew we had to get on with it. Ray is still in a good relationship with the players and manager. He was a big part of this club."



Arts and Entertainment
books
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
people
Voices
Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from the rise of Ukip
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Life and Style
Brave step: A live collection from Alexander McQueen whose internet show crashed because of high demand
fashionAs the collections start, Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution