Rafael Benitez refuses to discuss possible England return for Chelsea captain John Terry
The 32-year-old may come out of a self-imposed international retirement
Monday 29 April 2013
Rafael Benitez has refused to be drawn on the prospect of Chelsea captain John Terry making an England return.
The 32-year-old defender made back-to-back appearances for the first time since February by featuring in yesterday's 2-0 defeat of Swansea which saw Chelsea consolidate their position in the Barclays Premier League top four.
Terry has hinted at a possible England return but Benitez declined to comment on the prospect of the skipper coming out of international retirement which was prompted by his Football Association charge and subsequent ban for racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand.
"That is not my business," Benitez said.
"My business is to keep him as fit as possible for every game.
"I only speak to him about Chelsea."
Another of Chelsea's old guard attracted praise following the victory: Frank Lampard, after netting his 201st Chelsea goal.
After setting up Oscar's opener, Lampard, who began the game as a substitute, converted a 45th-minute penalty to move within one of the club record held by the watching Bobby Tambling.
"Frank is a great player," Benitez said. "I'm really pleased he's scored another goal and hopefully he can score five between now and the end of the season and he'll be much happier and we will be the same."
The midfielder is 35 in June, out of contract this summer and his future is uncertain.
But he continues tirelessly to work for the Chelsea cause, with the Blues' bid for a Champions League qualifying place now firmly in their own hands as they sit three points clear of Tottenham.
His appearance midway through the first half in place of dead-leg victim Ramires injected impetus into Chelsea's play.
The goal was his 15th of the season and first following seven scoreless appearances, since moving to 200 goals against his former club West Ham on March 17.
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, formerly of Real Madrid and Barcelona, had nothing but admiration for the midfielder.
"When you have quality, you will always have it," the Dane said.
"The thing is, even if we don't want to admit it, we all get older.
"Sometimes the pace is not the same, you can't do exactly the same things, but the quality is always there."
Both of Chelsea's goals came late in the first half and Laudrup attributed the extension of Swansea's winless run to six games to "five crazy minutes".
"I didn't think we suffered for the first 40 minutes," said Laudrup, who bemoaned his side's lack of cutting edge in the final third.
"Five crazy minutes, two goals, changed the game completely."
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