Chelsea's under-pressure manager
Andre Villas-Boas is sweating on the fitness of John Terry for
Tuesday's Champions League last 16 clash away at Napoli.
Terry has not played for nearly a month because of a
persistent knee injury and is rated as 50/50 by Villas-Boas for
the first leg in southern Italy.
Villas-Boas has been under the microscope with Chelsea
slipping out of the top four in the Premier League and being
held at home by second tier Birmingham City in the FA Cup on
Saturday and he was again forced to field questions about his
future at a news conference in Naples on Monday.
A fit Terry would be a huge boost for the Portuguese and he
will leave it as late as possible to decide whether the former
England captain is fit enough to play.
"John is a player of great importance. I will leave it as
late as possible and make a decision after training in Naples,"
"JT is a great leader. He gives you an extra emotional push
but, at the moment, we've had to do without him.
"If he misses out, then we will miss a top player who gives
us great defensive stability. It would be a massive loss."
Asked about his future he said he was carrying on with the
"full confidence" of the club's owner Roman Abramovich.
However, he admitted Chelsea recent results had not helped
dampen the speculation.
"With the results that we have been having the speculation
is normal based on the cultural past of this football club," he
said. "But you have to understand that sometimes there is
Striker Didier Drogba denied on Monday that he had taken
over the half-time team talk during Saturday's 1-1 draw with
Birmingham at Stamford Bridge.
"I want to make things clear - the manager made the speech
at half-time and after that I think he's got some leaders in the
team," the 33-year-old Ivory Coast international said.
"We are here to help him. After that we were trying to bring
the team up after half-time and nothing more.
"I think people are making a big thing about nothing."
Villas-Boas said the match against Napoli, who qualified for
the last 16 at the expense of Premier League leaders Manchester
City, was a massive challenge.
"Everyone saw what Napoli did in a group which put another
English team out," he said. "The Champions League is a
competition that everyone wants to win. The players will feel
much more tension and feel it much more.
"There are two weeks between the games and it's important
for us to be competent and to bring the game to Stamford Bridge
with a win or a draw, ideally a scoring draw. Then we can finish
the business here."
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