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

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Mark Wright has said he will be keeping his shirt on in this weekend’s Strictly Come Dancing final.

Read more

The singer reckons there needs to be some post-Strictly rehab for the contestants.

Read more

Caroline Flack revealed taking part on Strictly Come Dancing has been a worthwhile life experience.

Read more

Promoted content

We've got a great selection of Secret Santa presents and stocking fillers for under a tenner...  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Office Secret Santa: it’s a Christmas ritual that everyone dreads, but no-one wants to seem like a Scrooge by saying no. Never fear, London24 is here to make buying gifts for Dave in Accounts simple and stress-free, with a selection of presents for under a tenner

Money saving Christmas gifts to add to your shopping list!

It’s nearly time to go on the hunt for Christmas presents, stuck on what to get for your nearest and dearest? We’ve picked out a selection of great deals to get you started and to help you save some pennies!

Match reports

TOP STORIES

Chelsea Transfer News

Quizzes

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
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho go head to head (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Football managers are either deified or chastised, depending on results and they are some of the most famous faces in the country.

Read more
Roy Keane  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Roy Keane denied the world of more glorious beard action this weekend by shaving his famous chin hair off, however football is still littered with some impressive beards.

Read more
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger (Pictures: Getty Images)

London derbies are always eagerly anticipated but few more than when Chelsea and Arsenal meet.

Read more