Terry prepares to face Capello

Manager flies back into media storm today as Pearce breaks England camp's silence by backing captain
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The Independent Football

John Terry will get his chance to plead his case for the England captaincy when he meets Fabio Capello face-to-face tomorrow.

The England manager flies back to London this morning and is resolved to meet his captain before departing for Warsaw on Saturday morning. Capello has not yet made up his mind, despite reports in Italy that he wants Terry to tender his resignation.

The fallout from Terry's alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-fiancée of his England team-mate Wayne Bridge, is such that Capello may not make an announcement on what he intends to do before the Euro 2012 draw in Warsaw on Sunday. He has a flight to the Polish capital on Saturday and only limited opportunity to see Terry that day.

Those close to Capello say there is no chance that he will speak publicly before talking to Terry, although the manager is aware that he will be walking into a media frenzy when he returns from Switzerland this morning. The meeting with Terry will be crucial as to whether the England captain keeps his job – although if he does not tell the truth and is later exposed then it could prove disastrous for both sides.

Capello is also wary of making a decision before Sunday when there is the potential for Perroncel to tell her side of the story and for further revelations to emerge. Last night there were suggestions that Perroncel, who is being advised by the publicist Max Clifford, could be persuaded to keep her silence.

Those close to Capello are insistent that he has not divulged his thoughts on the matter to anyone and will not speak to the reporters waiting for him when he returns. He is due back at his office in Wembley tomorrow which is a potential venue for the meeting with Terry, that will be arranged today. It is something of an understatement that the Football Association wants to keep the location under wraps.

The England Under-21s manager, Stuart Pearce, who also works as a coach with the senior team, entered the debate yesterday and said he thought Terry should remain as England captain. Pearce said that Terry was a "selfless professional".

Pearce said: "Fabio will be wanting to be a dominant voice. I couldn't see anyone else going above Fabio and making decisions in respect to who captains the side. I think the last decision should always be the manager's on whatever goes on. The one thing I

would say is that John Terry is a fantastic captain, in footballing terms on and off the pitch. I think he is a selfless professional and his form is fantastic for his country.

"I'm not a big lover of witch-hunts of people, which I'm afraid our country tends to follow a little bit these days. The bottom line is John, his family and everyone concerned in the matter, it's a matter for those people."

Terry's new spokesman, Phil Hall, the former News of the World editor, said that Terry would not be speaking about his future before Capello made an announcement. He said: "John Terry asked me to make it clear that he has made absolutely no statement about his future as England captain. He is keeping his own counsel until he speaks to England manager Fabio Capello and then Mr Capello will decide what announcement will be made."

Terry played in Chelsea's 1-1 draw with Hull City on Tuesday night but Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, admitted after the game that he could be given leave to sort out his personal problems. "If he needs a holiday I will give him a holiday. If he doesn't need a holiday, he will play against Cardiff [in the FA Cup]. You will see the line-up then. It is an issue for me and John Terry. For him nothing has changed. He has played a very good game and every game he is leading very well. He is doing his best every game."

Ancelotti was more concerned with Chelsea's defending from set pieces, which has been a problem all season. "We know about it. I know very well how many goals we have [conceded] from set pieces," he said.