John Terry on his hopes for the season and the example set by Chelsea and England teammate Joe Cole.
John Terry says players sitting on the bench at Chelsea should take heart from the example of Three Lions hero Joe Cole.
England centre-back Terry was speaking to the media yesterday after launching his new book ‘My Winning Season’, a diary of Chelsea’s championship-winning year.
But, as he settled down in one of Chelsea’s Millennium Suites at Stamford Bridge, he was not thinking about the past - only about answering criticism that the Blues squad is losing focus.
Recent newspaper articles about players frustrated at not getting games have been an unwelcome distraction at a club where everything else is going so well.
But Terry believes England teammate Cole could be the man that keeps the squad together.
Cole missed Sunday’s victory over the Gunners but has been promised time on the pitch against West Brom tomorrow and has already proved how far a good attitude can get you at Stamford Bridge.
Terry said: "We have got good problems at Chelsea in that players want to play and want to play in a great side. Things are going great for Chelsea and players want to be part of that. Obviously they will be frustrated about not playing.
"But you can’t go away from a game if you’re not involved thinking ‘I’m fed up with it.’
"Look at Joe last year. When he got his chance he scored goals and played well, but he didn’t really get that opportunity at the start.
"But then we had a few injuries and he played four or five games on the bounce and that did him the world of good. He looked fitter, he looked sharper and he stayed in the side for the rest of the season.
"He was also man enough to take criticism on the chin and he listened to what the manager had to say. If the manager is opinionated about something and tells you that you need to defend more and forget the attacking side for the good of the team, you do it. That’s what Coley has done.
"He had a look at himself and he improved as a player and now he has his England place as well.
"He is an example to the other players. Everyone knows the situation at the club, if you are not playing one week, you will play the next because games come thick and fast."
Terry will be back in action for the Blues tomorrow against West Brom at Stamford Bridge before facing Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Then it's England duty against Wales the week after.
He said: "It's a hectic start to the season but these big games are what it's all about. I'm hungry to win more. And hopefully my next book will be about winning more titles - and winning the World Cup too!"