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Premier League

John Terry's still got a big role to play, insists Roberto Di Matteo


Roberto Di Matteo has insisted that John Terry is important to the future of Chelsea as he considers bringing his captain back into the team tomorrow to deal with the threat of Liverpool's Luis Suarez.

"He is a fantastic player, great player, great defender and I am very pleased his ban is over and he is fully available for the rest of the season," Di Matteo said of Terry yesterday, after he was not selected against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday despite being fit.

"We have a lot of competition. Terry is a fantastic player, will continue to be so and will be our captain and our leader. Nobody is guaranteed a starting place, they all have to work and fight."

Liverpool are struggling in the League but Suarez has been great. Di Matteo suggested Terry could be useful to contain him. "He has enough experience to know where his position is," Di Matteo said, when asked if Terry might be less liable to being dragged out of position. "He's a good leader. We maybe lacked a bit of experience on Wednesday without Ashley [Cole], Lamps [Frank Lampard] and JT. It was quite a young team."

"We'll have to be very focused, not just on him because [Suarez is] not the only one, but we have to pay attention to his movement and his threat," Di Matteo warned.