Chelsea boss explains why he left Terry on bench for crucial win over Shakhtar

08:00 08 November 2012

Chelsea

Chelsea's John Terry warms up before the Shakhtar Donetsk game but was left on the bench. Photo credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS

EMPICS Sport

John Terry was left on the bench for Chelsea’s 3-2 Champions League Group E victory over Shakhtar Donetsk last night because he wasn’t fully match fit.

The former England captain was eligible to play again after his recent four match ban for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Blues boss Roberto Di Matteo explained that he was delighted to have his skipper back but that the crucial must-win clash at Stamford Bridge came too soon for the centre back.

The Italian also feels Terry understood the decision to give him a rest.

“Listen, JT is a fantastic player for this club, for our team. He’s got many qualities and I’m very happy that he’s back available for us after the ban,” the Chelsea boss said.

“But considering the last four weeks in his professional life, he has had one competitive game, and I thought we needed players who were 100 per cent match fit for a game like this.

“I’m very glad that he’s back with us now and is available because we will certainly need him.”

Di Matteo added: “First of all, I’m not going to comment on the private conversation with my players, but it’s not easy to tell a player that he’s not starting the game.”

Chelsea were also without Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard because of injury but Di Matteo was delighted with the fight his side showed to keep going until injury time, when Victor Moses bagged the winner, despite being twice pegged back by Willian strikes.

“There was a lot of Champions League experience that wasn’t on the pitch and under normal circumstances you would like them there,” he said.

“Given the tremendous pressure we were under for parts of this game, the players who played deserved huge praise for weathering that. We managed to win the game under a lot of pressure.”

Related articles

Live Blog Transfer Window Live - January 27

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Sightings are down, but should we be worried about Britain’s biggest fish?

Read more

A lingerie shop set for an adaptation of The Casual Vacancy confused shoppers who thought it was real.

Read more

Fans of cool pictures of fire – this one’s for you.

Read more

Promoted content

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea

London Hilton on Park Lane is inviting couples to celebrate this Valentines Day over a deliciously romantic afternoon tea at Podium Restaurant and Bar. Taking inspiration from the highly popular Confessions of a Chocoholic Afternoon Tea, London Hilton on Park Lane presents the ultimate romantic afternoon out with its Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

Valentine's Day in London

If you’re struggling over what to buy for the special person in your life in your life, our Valentine’s Day in London section is here to help.

Match reports

TOP STORIES

Chelsea Transfer News

Quizzes

Adrian Chiles is no longer ITV's main man... so why not test your knowledge of some of his (and others') greatest gaffes? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

With news of presenter Adrian Chiles’ sacking by ITV, it’s a good time to remember some of the most memorable punditry blunders.

Read more
£50million Fernando Torres and former Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglous are two of the biggest transfer flops in recent Premier League history

The transfer window is a time for optimisim, but it doesn’t always work out for the best...

Read more
Chelsea Wikipedia quiz  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Chelsea have had their fair share of club legends in recent times, but have also been the setting for some major flops.

Read more
Can you name these moustaches?

Movember is upon us once again and men across the country are growing moustaches to raise money to battle prostate cancer.

Read more