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

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 Chelsea news

Sunday, May 29, 2016
Arsenal's Theo Walcott gestures to the fans (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Our season review continues with a look at the five players who went backwards this season.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Arsenal's new signing Granit Xhaka has 41 caps for Switzerland(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

West Ham are currently the only London side playing a pre-season friendly in the capital ahead of the 2016/17 Premier League season.

Friday, May 27, 2016
SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 27: England players celebrate with Marcus Rashford after he scored in the first half during the International Friendly match between England and Australia at Stadium of Light on May 27, 2016 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Marcus Rashford scored after just two minutes to become the youngest player to score on their England debut while Wayne Rooney came off the bench to net as England beat Australia 2-1 at the Stadium of Light. Here’s how we rated England.

Friday, May 27, 2016
SIX-FOURS-LES-PLAGES, FRANCE - MAY 25: Lewis Baker of England (C) celebrates his side's first goal during the Toulon Tournament match between Paraguay and England at  Stade Antoinr Baptiste on May 25, 2016 in Six-Fours-Les-Plages, France. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

England Under-21s reached the final of the Toulon Tournament for the first time in 22 years after a 1-0 win over Japan.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Alexandre Pato of Chelsea and Joleon Lescott of Aston Villa compete for the ball (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

With a lot of comings and goings in London, we pinpoint the five biggest transfer flops of this season.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport