Villas-Boas gives his full support to 'committed' captain


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The Independent Football

Andre Villas-Boas has given his full support to John Terry and insists the centre-back's position at Chelsea will remain unaffected, despite the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to press charges following allegations of racial abuse by the player.

Villas-Boas, the Chelsea manager, will include his captain in the team to face Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane this evening and is adamant Terry will continue to be selected up until his appearance at West London magistrates' court on 1 February.

"He has my full support, the club's full support," said the manager at a press conference immediately before the CPS announced Terry would be charged. "He represents this club to a maximum level and we're very grateful to have a player of his quality in our team, in what he represents in terms of history and achievements at the club.

"We know his human values and personality, so we will support him whatever. I've not the right to say that their justice is wrong. He is fit and available. I don't doubt his integrity as a person. He's been representing this club for a long time with tremendous success. He has my full backing. The fact that he can be charged today doesn't mean he is guilty."

Terry limped out of an open training session on Monday but was quickly declared fit to face Spurs and Villas-Boas confirmed the defender would play. "He is selected for tomorrow's game," said the Portuguese. "[David] Luiz is out and Alex is training away from the first team, so Terry is available. It's a difficult environment on a Premier League pitch [but] it won't be a problem for John Terry, a player of his experience."

Terry immediately announced his intention to fight the charges and the manager has no doubts his captain is in the right frame of mind to lead the side. The defender has continued playing in the wake of previous off-field problems, most notably when he was stripped of the England captaincy after allegations about a relationship with the former partner of his then team-mate Wayne Bridge, and Villas-Boas is confident Terry's level of performance will be unaffected.

"JT says he is in the right frame of mind to play and produce good performances," added the manager. "I've had experiences in the past with people, when people have given me the OK and shown fantastic commitment."