John Terry said yesterday that Chelsea's new manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has the respect of the senior players at the club who have survived so many of the young coach's predecessors.
The Chelsea captain added that like Jose Mourinho, once a mentor for Villas-Boas, the new man has a habit of keeping the squad on their toes. "You could have a laugh and a joke with Jose and that could change the following day," Terry said. "That was the same with Andre when he was here and he's very much the same now as a manager."
Terry, speaking at the Premier League's "Get on with the Game" launch, said that the closeness in age between Villas-Boas and his players had not been a problem in his dealings with the squad. Only the reserve goalkeeper Hilario among the squad is older than Villas-Boas, whose first league game is against Stoke City on Sunday.
Terry said: "People think that about the club, that a lot of us are strong, we've got too much input. I can honestly say that's not the case and certainly hasn't been for the last four or five years.
"What you will get from the likes of myself, Lamps [Frank Lampard], Didier [Drogba], Petr [Cech], Ash [Cole], and people like that is that we'll be committed and we'll be making sure that everyone follows and listens to what he [Villas-Boas] is saying. He had this respect from us before anyway.
"A lot of lads kept in contact with him throughout his time at Porto and when he was away with Jose. So the players completely respected him, clearly through what he's done in the game, for the knowledge he had from before he went on to be a manager.
"[In the Mourinho era] Jose didn't like anyone getting close to the players. So he didn't let anyone get too close to the players. We had a good relationship with him [Mourinho] but there were days you wouldn't have gone near him. And that's honestly the same with [Villas-Boas].
"When he [Mourinho] was in that mood, the others were not allowed to come near us. Andre respected that and they all followed that."
Terry said that Chelsea's new £18m signing from Anderlecht, Romelu Lukaku, was due to train with the squad for the first time yesterday at 3pm, however, the club have said since that the deal is not yet complete.Reuse content