Chelsea captain John Terry has played down reports of a rift with manager Rafael Benitez, reports Sky
The Spaniard’s rotation policy has seen Terry omitted from several Blues squads in recent weeks and months, and reports surfaced that the two had also fallen out in relation to the former England captain’s fitness.
Terry has something of an injury-plagued time this season, but recently even when at full fitness has struggled to re-establish himself as one of the first and essential names on Benitez’s team sheet.
The 32-year-old has moved to deny the reports, however, claiming that he is in full support of the former Liverpool manager’s policy and states that he has not been looking to rock the boat at Stamford Bridge.
He said: “There has been a lot of speculation, even today. I didn’t speak out against the manager at all. I am fit, have been fit, and that’s the case.
“We have been working together on the training field. I might miss the game, but if the manager chooses the other players in front of me, that’s totally acceptable by me and I will continue to work hard in training and wait for my chance, like I did against Fulham and previous games as well. I’m the biggest supporter if I’m playing or not playing – I’m fully behind the team.
“People are trying to cause a rift between myself and Rafa, but there simply isn’t one. They won’t get between us, or the players, or the staff at the football club.”
He continued: “I want to play in all the games, of course, that’s the same for every player.
“But at the same time, I understand that we have got a lot of big games and if he wants to go with David (Luiz) and Iva (Branislav Ivanovic), they have been playing great so I have no qualms about that at all.
“(Cesar) Azpilicueta has been superb at right-back as well – so once again, if I’m not picked, of course I want to play, but at the same time I will be fully behind the lads, the team and the manager to secure us at least fourth spot for the Champions League spot.”
Terry has also been at the center of another apparent handshake snub, but this time it was the Chelsea defender himself refusing to return the respect.
At a ceremony at Whitehall where European champions Chelsea returned the Champions League trophy ahead of next month’s final, FA chairman David Bernstein appeared to offer the handshake to the man he stripped of the England captaincy – and was quite clearly ignored, according to Sky Sports.
When asked to confirm whether he had ignored Bernstein’s gesture, Terry said: “No, listen, it’s a difficult one for me.
“Obviously he went and spoke about me in the court case and I don’t want to talk on it. It is probably a subject we should maybe just avoid.”
Bernstein, however, refused to confirm that he had even noticed the snub.
“I didn’t even notice that,” he said. “I didn’t notice anything.
“My relationship with everybody in here is really fantastic, I didn’t notice a thing. I think we should talk about more positive things than that sort of nonsense.”
When asked for information relating to the nature of his relationship with Terry, Bernstein admitted: “A little distant.”
He was then asked whether the relationship could perhaps be repaired, and Bernstein offered a cutting dismissal: “I don’t know, I am not really terribly concerned to be absolutely honest.
“I have got other things to think about in my last three months, I have other priorities.”
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