FA block racism questions at John Terry press conference

 

The Football Association today prevented John Terry answering any questions about the ongoing racism investigation into comments he allegedly made towards Anton Ferdinand.

Chelsea defender Terry is alleged to have racially abused the QPR defender in a Barclays Premier League match three weeks ago, an allegation which is now the subject of a Metropolitan Police investigation.

The England captain has denied the claims.

Terry spoke at a press conference today ahead of England's international against Sweden tomorrow but when journalists attempted to get Terry to speak about the matter, the questions were blocked.

Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard led the side against Spain on Saturday as Terry watched from the sidelines.

And the defender admitted: "I don't feel undroppable - I've never thought that with England or Chelsea.

"If my form's not good enough the manager (Fabio Capello) is big enough to drop anyone, as we've seen."

Terry continued in the press conference: "Every game we all feel we are playing for our places.

"When you play for your country you can never take a game lightly.

"Everyone is fully focused on the game ahead...I'm here taking part in training and leading the team out.

"I'm in a great state of mind and focused on training. From my point of view, nothing's changed at all."

Terry said: "I think the players have showed we're united no matter what and put in a very good performance (against Spain).

"Some real positives came from the game. Sitting there watching it, and how well the players played defensively and in attack, was incredible.

"I could see how well the players performed, being able to sit there and take in how well the players performed."

The 30-year-old added: "The manager has stressed the need to make sure we get the right result against Sweden and keep the momentum going into the European Championships.

"It's really encouraging that younger players are coming in and making a real impact on the squad.

"There are some real positives to take away from the (Spain) game, but from a squad point of view we want to keep improving and we have got the chance to do it against Sweden."

England boss Capello dismissed speculation over Terry's frame of mind.

The Italian said: "He's here. He will be with us. He will be the captain."

Capello revealed he plans to mix things up against Sweden.

"There will be eight new players," he confirmed.

"They are two different games but the experience gained for these players is really important, in order to improve for the next match against Holland or for the Euros."

Asked about young striker Daniel Sturridge's possible debut, Capello added: "One hundred percent, he will start on the bench.

"All of the young players who come from the under-21s have been monitored for a long time. I spoke to Stuart (Pearce, England Under-21 coach) and the players' coaches and all of these people told me they are really, really good.

"Personally I checked on them too and have been really happy with their performances and their personalities and the confidence they play with. It's difficult to find such players with the confidence they showed against Spain."

Capello admitted Spain's renowned possession football dictated England's tactics on Saturday as they withstood immense pressure to snatch a 1-0 win at Wembley.

"We prepared to play with the midfield and forwards but the style Spain use is difficult to play against," he said.

"They make a lot of passes. In the first half they had a lot of possession but only one shot. We defended very well, went forward a few times and had the chance to be really dangerous but missed the last pass.

"Spain's style is fantastic, they are the best team in the world now and I think they will be for the next four or five years because their team is really young.

"But when you play against this team, like Barcelona, you need to defend and play the counter attack."

PA

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