John Terry has admitted that he doesn’t want to play again for Chelsea this season – if it means the Blues lift the Premier League title at the end of it.
The Chelsea club captain sat down to speak to Steven Gerrard, courtesy of BT Sport, and stated that he would trade regular time on the pitch for triumphing once more in England’s top flight.
The Londoners currently sit eight points clear of second-placed Arsenal in the standings ahead of Tuesday’s crunch clash with Gerrard’s former club Liverpool, and Terry was adamant that he would prefer to see the club win the league than selfishly look to add to his 680 appearances.
He said: “I genuinely mean when I say it, but for me I am honestly hoping I don’t play this season which means they keep winning. Do you get that from a player that’s been here five years? I don’t think you do. Do you get that from a player who plays but moaning every week? I’ve not moaned once.
“I’m training unbelievably, you have to, you do things the right way because the love of the club and how much you respect the club and how good the club has been to you over the years.”
Veteran centre-back Terry has featured just five times in the league for Chelsea this term. The 36-year-old lost his place in the starting lineup after succumbing to an ankle injury in September’s 2-2 draw with Swansea City, and has played just six minutes of action in the Premier League since then.
His lack of time on the field is down to manager Antonio Conte’s switch to a 3-5-2 system that has seen Chelsea drop just three points since September’s 3-0 loss to Arsenal, but Terry insisted that Conte had been honest with him from the start over losing his starting berth.
He continued: “Sometimes there’s nothing you can do as a player. I started the first four games of the season and get injured and we lose at home to Liverpool and Arsenal away and the manager is asking ‘how long till you are back?
“Then we go 13 games unbeaten and you’re back fit but you can’t get in. And as a player it’s difficult to accept but you have to accept it. When you’ve got a manager like Conte who’s been honest with me from day one “listen you’re not getting back in the boys are playing great the team’s flying”, you haven’t got a leg to stand on.”
Chelsea head to Anfield to take on Jurgen Klopp’s stuttering Liverpool side and could open up an 11-point gap if results go in their favour. Asked by Gerrard about what Conte has done differently to help the Blues climb to the summit of the league, Terry added that the Italian’s focus on physical fitness and tactics has given Chelsea an added edge to their game this season.
He said: “We do a lot more tactically now. In all my years playing, I’ve never done proper running, everything’s been with the ball. Conte’s come in and from pre-season we’ve done running and after two or three weeks the lads are going, we feel great.
“If I had said to you I’d finish playing last year and hadn’t had that experience of Conte I would have gone into my management with the mindset of I’m not running my players, not too many tactics. But that’s the exact opposite, we’re doing running, tactics, gym work. I can physically feel the benefits of it.”
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