John Terry insists he has backing of England squad

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The Independent Football

John Terry admitted today he was "not everyone's cup of tea" after being reinstated as England captain but insisted he had the backing of the whole squad.

England boss Fabio Capello took the controversial decision to reinstate the Chelsea defender last week in place of the injured Ferdinand, just over a year after he was stripped of the armband following allegations of an affair with the ex-girlfriend of then international team-mate Wayne Bridge.

"I'm not going to be everybody's cup of tea, but it is the decision the manager has taken," Terry said.

"Respect for the players around me and the manager has always been there.

"When the manager confronted the team on the training pitch (this morning to tell them of Terry's reinstatement), he asked the players if they had any questions and nobody spoke. Nobody said a world to the manager, nobody said a word to me."

Terry added: "I think as a group of players we're coming here looking forward to playing for our country and looking forward to putting on the shirt."

Terry revealed Ferdinand had called him to wish him well.

"Rio called me which was a very nice touch and goes to show what a great man Rio is," he told a press conference ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales in Cardiff this weekend.

"We had a 10-minute conversation and he wished me well. He He cares about England and said the most important thing was to keep winning.

"He was naturally disappointed, but said the most important thing was to keep winning."

He added: "I feel for Rio. Even though I've got the armband back, I can see myself we've got leaders in dressing room.

"The guys have still got a massive input in and around the dressing room."

Terry insisted he was ready to deal with the pressure that would come with his re-appointment, and claimed his passion for playing for his country never left him even when he lost the armband.

"On a personal not I'm very delighted to get the armband back," he added.

"People can see that in me, people can see even when I did not have the armband my passion and drive was still there."

Asked of he was ready for the pressure, he added: "Naturally, I'd expect nothing less.

"I know what is asked of me on the pitch and away from it.

"Maybe the manager looked into that as well, that I had kept my head down and concentrated on playing well for club and country.

"I'm certainly older (now), but wise as well. I'm fully fit as well so I'm very much looking forward to continuing staying fit and playing well."

On having the armband taken away from him, Terry continued: "I met Fabio and (England general manager) Franco (Baldini) on the day and accepted the decision. That doesn't mean I agreed with it but I looked them both in the eye and said 'you'll get nothing less from me in training and on the field'.

"I was disappointed at the time but for me the most important thing was to concentrate on playing football.

"That was the relief for me, to work hard in training every day. I've worked very hard to get where I am today.

"I was disappointed initially but you have to move on. It (the disappointment) will be there for a long time but this shows if you keep working hard and never give up hope there's always a chance."

On Saturday's opponents, the 30-year-old continued: "I think we can expect a very tough game and we must make sure we match them in every department.

"Our players have played at the Millennium Stadium, which will naturally help - but they have a great spine in the side with James Collins, Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy. They can pose a real threat.

"For me the most important thing is to top the group and make sure we are there (at Euro 2012). I would love to lead the team into that tournament."

Just over a year ago Bellamy was a team-mate of Bridge when Manchester City won at Chelsea in the Barclays Premier League - and the striker was none too complimentary about Terry in a post-match interview.

However, Terry said today: "He is a player I have a lot of respect for in the game - maybe sometimes he's been misrepresented in certain ways...he wants to win, be it at Manchester City or Cardiff.

"But we must win. Wales have had a bad start, conceding a lot of goals and not scoring too many - but they pose a real threat individually. They've got a good young squad."