Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

FA & League Cups

Andre Villas-Boas wants focus off Terry ahead of return to QPR


Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas today called for an end to talk about John Terry's return to QPR ahead of next Saturday's FA Cup clash.

The fourth-round draw will see Blues captain Terry go head to head with Anton Ferdinand four days ahead of the court case in which he stands accused of racially abusing the Rangers defender.

Extra police have been laid on for what will be a potentially explosive west London derby, the first time the sides have met since October's controversial Barclays Premier League clash.

Television footage emerged after that game which prompted allegations Terry had racially abused Ferdinand, something the Chelsea and England captain denies.

The build-up to next weekend's fixture will inevitably be dominated by the Terry-Ferdinand reunion but Villas-Boas said today: "What are you going to do to make that environment a bit better, in terms of headlines and how much time we're going to see taken up with Anton v Terry.

"If you want to finish, avoid speculating about it, about the return to QPR, a repetition of the images.

"We can play our part, but so can the media.

"It's important to kick any discrimination out of the game, but it won't be a reminder of those incidents.

"It'll be an intense cup game between two London teams, and hopefully it will be well contested between 22 players."

The aftermath of the Terry-Ferdinand incident saw unsavoury chanting from both QPR and Chelsea fans in their subsequent games, something that may well resume next weekend.

Villas-Boas said: "I don't want to speak about that.

"For me, it's a cup clash at a place we lost points, where we played brilliantly with nine men.

"Hopefully, we can go there and, if we do the same with 11 men with the same commitment, we'll try and get through the tie."

Villas-Boas reiterated he would have no qualms selecting Terry, saying: "I'll have no problem picking John - not at all.

"He'll have to compete against three others, but we'll make the right decision."