Terry thanks Capello for his support

 

John Terry spoke for the first time last night about Fabio Capello's resignation as England manager and thanked the Italian coach for standing by him in spite of the Football Association's insistence that the defender be stripped of the captaincy of the national team for the second time.

Ahead of tonight's Champions League second leg game against Napoli in the first knockout round of the competition tonight, Terry also hit back at suggestions that the senior players run Chelsea and said that it was entirely the decision of Roman Abramovich and his board to dismiss Andre Villas-Boas this month.

In what was the 31-year-old's first major press conference since he lost the England captaincy in January, he took just one question on the departure of Capello – posed by an Italian journalist in spite of the club's insistence that the subject be avoided. Asked whether he had a "message" for Capello, Terry paid tribute to his former manager's decision to back him.

Terry said: "Quite clearly, Fabio backed me. That comes from a relationship with myself and him, the relationship we built up. I stood up for him on the football pitch, and he stood up for me off the pitch. I respect that from him, I respect him as a man and for what he did for me. Complete respect both ways."

Sitting alongside caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge, Terry said it was "complete nonsense" that the club was controlled by the likes of Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Terry himself. Terry, whose team trail Napoli 3-1 from the first leg, said that it was simply the "perception from outside" that the players were in charge of the club and were able to get managers sacked.

He said: "That [suggestion players are in control] is completely untrue. What I said was, as a group of players collectively – and Andre would be in that with us, because we win and lose together at this club – we're all responsible for the results we have. But, unfortunately, as the manager, it fell on Andre's head. We'd hold our hands up and say that, performance-wise, we are to blame as well.

"As for the senior players running this football club, that's nonsense. That's just the perception from outside. Roman and the board make the decisions. But on the football pitch, that can affect what happens upstairs of course. If we don't win matches, the board step in. But speculating from outside, or previous managers, that's complete nonsense."

Although Terry could not discuss the allegations against him of racial abuse towards Anton Ferdinand which will come to court on 9 July, the 31-year-old was adamant that the "issues" around him had not affected his performances on the pitch.

Terry said: "I think I've shown that [I'm focused and committed as ever] with my performances, despite what's happening off the field. I've shown with my performances before my operation, performances that were really good. I'm focused. I know what I have to do for Chelsea. Nothing has changed there. Andre would back that up.

"As captain I'm very fortunate and privileged. We were just saying walking up, if you had said 10 years ago that Robbie and I would be sitting here with such a big night coming up tomorrow, we'd have probably laughed at you. But that's the reality. You won't find two other people who care more about the football club going into this game. "

Currently in fifth in the Premier League and three points off the Champions League places, Terry said it was an imperative that the club secure a place in the competition again next season. "Naturally we have players out of contract and players in negotiation with their current contracts," he said. "I'm hoping many stay and many come in. But the key factor when it comes to players coming into this club is that we need to be playing Champions League football next year

"We need Champions League football financially, and also to attract the best players. So we need to be in the competition next season. We understand as a group what we need to do to ensure that happens, and we'll do everything we can to make sure it does happen."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future