Blues’ Terry confident over fitness
John Terry is adamant he will be fit for Chelsea’s crucial Premier League trip to Bolton on Monday.
Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti raised fears about Terry’s availability for a game Chelsea are desperate to win in order to maintain the momentum built up by back-to-back home triumphs over Ipswich and Blackburn.
Ancelotti stated that Terry had been suffering from a minor back problem, although he was more likely than fellow England international Frank Lampard to make the trip to the Reebok Stadium.
Given his recent injury record, any concern surrounding Terry gets magnified, with the 30-year-old’s body becoming a major talking point in recent times.
However, Terry insists the latest bout of speculation is without foundation and he expects to play against Bolton.
"On Monday I took a knee to the ribs, which were sore and resulted in me missing the last two days’ training with the squad," said Terry.
"I have been able to do some pool work and stepped up training on Friday with the medical team whilst the rest of the squad were off.
"I will resume full training on Saturday and be available for Monday’s game at Bolton."
The news will come as a relief to Chelsea fans, especially as Lampard’s calf injury is causing a concern.
Quite what impact being without the star duo has had on the Stamford Bridge camp was evidenced by their recent run of poor form – their worst in 15 years – when both were missing through injury.
This latest twin scare has reinforced the need for Chelsea to bring in cover before the end of the transfer window.
The club have so far been frustrated in their attempts to make signings, with Steven Pienaar having opted to join Tottenham after the Blues refused to meet his wage demands.
They also saw a £17million bid for Benfica defender David Luiz rejected at the end of last month and are reportedly haggling over a revised fee for the 23-year-old.
It has been claimed that Pienaar snubbed Chelsea because he was unimpressed by talks held with Ancelotti, who today denied any such meeting had taken place.
"I’ve never met Steven Pienaar in my life," he said.
"I didn’t search [for] Steven Pienaar to come here to play for Chelsea.
"We don’t need a midfielder – we have fantastic midfielders here already."
He added of Luiz: "Until now, there’s no news. David Luiz is not here and will not be available for the game.
"So it’s not right to speak about this.
"I’m waiting until the end of the transfer window.
"If there are new players, it means we needed those new players. If there are not, we didn’t need them."
Udinese have also claimed they had held discussions with Chelsea about winger Alexis Sanchez, but Ancelotti said: "It’s not true that we’ve spoken with the owner of Udinese.
"I don’t like to speak about this because it’s confidential."
Chelsea will travel to Bolton looking for a third straight win having thrashed Ipswich in the FA Cup before beating Blackburn in the league.
But the litmus test for their revival will come away from home, with victory having eluded them on their travels since October.
Five of their next six fixtures are away – including three in a row.
"We didn’t take good results away from home, I know this," said Ancelotti, whose side will start the weekend in fourth, seven points behind Manchester United having played a game more.
"This is the reason we’ve lost our position in the table.
"But, to be objective, we played badly against Wolves and Marseille.
"When we deserved to win – against Birmingham, Tottenham also – we were a bit unlucky.
"We had a lot of chances at Birmingham to score, and we missed a penalty at the end of the game against Tottenham.
"Those performances weren’t so bad, but the results were obviously no good."