Terry could be given time off for trial - Villas-Boas
CHELSEA are prepared to give John Terry time off in his fight to clear his name over allegations of racist abuse, manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed.
Blues and England captain Terry has continued to play for club and country since it was first alleged he had racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League game at Loftus Road in October.
Terry has faced jeers and taunts since then, never more so than during his return to Rangers in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie, four days before his court case was due to begin at Westminster Magistrates Court.
Terry denies racially abusing Ferdinand, and should a trial take place during the season, his manager Villas-Boas will consider allowing Terry to take time off. He said: "Eventually, if it is important for the justice, we will do it."
But Villas-Boas insisted he would continue to play his captain as long as he continues to display the kind of form he showed on Saturday, with the defender not putting a foot wrong in Chelsea's 1-0 win.
"You have seen with the off-field events, we haven't stopped using John, and his level of performance has not been affected," he said.
QPR fans were merciless in their abuse of Terry but he wisely chose not to react.
Villas-Boas said: "He is a player that has been through various situations, situations of stress and great, difficult atmospheres.
"Bearing in mind the events that have happened in the past, he showed that this was just another game."
Chelsea return to league action tomorrow when they travel to Swansea looking to cut the gap on third-placed Tottenham.
Villas-Boas has ruled his side out of the title race but was confident they were fully motivated to finish the season strongly in the league, FA Cup and Champions League.
"I think our motivation must be playing game to game and ensuring Champions League (qualification)," said Villas-Boas, who will be without Brazil midfielder Ramires for three to four weeks after scans yesterday confirmed a medial ligament injury.