Wednesday 26 October 2016

Terry out for blues

Hiddink insists changes will not unbalance side for huge clash with PSG

Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink. Photo: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters
Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink. Photo: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters
Defender John Terry. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters

Captain John Terry conceded defeat in his bid to play for Chelsea in tonight's Champions League clash at Paris St Germain and is a doubt for Sunday's FA Cup tie with Manchester City, interim boss Guus Hiddink said last night.

The 35-year-old went off towards the end of the first half of Saturday's 5-1 Premier League win over Newcastle with a hamstring problem and underwent a scan on Sunday.

Terry took part in Chelsea's open training session yesterday afternoon, but later did not travel with the squad to Paris for the last-16 first leg tie.

"It was not a decision made by me, because he was having too much trouble to travel, even to try (to play) tomorrow," Hiddink said at Parc des Princes on Monday.

"We had a test this morning. It didn't out work well, so the decision was made to leave him at home.

"He was himself also convinced he couldn't be of worth to the team at the moment."

Terry's next appearance will be his 700th for Chelsea.

He is out of contract at the end of the season and last month said his deal would not be extended. The club maintain an offer may be forthcoming.

Asked if Terry would return in time to play City in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday, Hiddink added: "Difficult. That's why we prefer to have him in Cobham, in the training centre, to have daily treatment and see how his development will be for the weekend."

Terry's absence means Chelsea are without their first-choice centre-back pairing for the PSG clash, with Kurt Zouma already out for the season following knee surgery.


Branislav Ivanovic moved to centre back against the Magpies and is likely to continue there, alongside Gary Cahill, with Baba Rahman coming in at left-back and Cesar Azpilicueta switching to the right flank.

United States defender Matt Miazga and 18-year-old academy defender Jake Clarke-Salter have also travelled with the team and could feature, if required, off the substitutes' bench.

Hiddink insisted Chelsea have prepared for the absence of key personnel and Ivanovic switching in-field from right-back was not unfamiliar.

The Dutchman added: "It was not a surprise to the players that we had to make some changes.

"Of course not having John is a bit of a setback. He's a leader.

"But I'm not the type of coach or manager who starts moaning and moaning.

"We go on and the players who will replace him, I have huge confidence in them."

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois added: "I don't know if it changes a lot. Obviously John is a leader in the team, he's our captain.

"But when he went off on Saturday, both Ivanovic and Gary played well. We've got a lot of quality defensively in our team.

"Obviously we will miss maybe his leader capacity but I think other players have to take in and take over that leadership."

Oscar (calf) is fit, but midfielder Nemanja Matic is suspended. The Blues, 12th in the Premier League, play PSG for a third straight season in the Champions League.

Chelsea won the quarter-final tie in 2014 on away goals and were defeated at the last-16 stage in 2015 by the same method.


PSG lead Ligue 1 by 24 points and were able to rest key personnel at the weekend, but Courtois maintains the tie is finely poised.

The Belgian said: "In Champions League everything is different. It's 50-50."

Courtois has previously admitted Chelsea will have to beat PSG and win the competition to play Champions League football next season, just as they did in 2012.

Courtois added: "It's not only to reach Champions League next season. To win Champions League is motivation in itself.

"Every player wants to win it, but it's not that easy. We will try our best. We have to go step by step."

Hiddink, who is unbeaten in 11 games of his second spell as Chelsea caretaker boss, came close to reaching the Champions League final in 2009 with the Blues, only for Barcelona to advance in controversial fashion through Andres Iniesta's away goal.

Hiddink, who replaced the sacked Jose Mourinho in December, added: "I don't feel unfinished business. I don't go back. It's history. We have to now go on."

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