Belfast Telegraph

Ancelotti may give Terry time out from Chelsea

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has said he will allow under-fire captain John Terry some time away from the team if he needs it, but insists no decision has yet been made.

Terry led the Blues out in a 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Hull at the KC Stadium tonight with all eyes on him following a string of allegations over the England captain's private life.

The result, secured after Didier Drogba and Steven Mouyokolo traded first-half goals, puts Chelsea two points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League but talk inevitably turned to Terry.

There have been rumours he will be allowed to miss the FA Cup clash with Cardiff on February 13 to get his private affairs in order.

When asked about them, Ancelotti said: "If he needs a holiday I will give him a holiday. If he doesn't need a holiday then he will play against Cardiff.

"It is an issue for me and John Terry, it is not your problem I think," the Italian told the post-match press conference.

Ancelotti insists the speculation over his captain has not affected team spirit at Stamford Bridge but was reticent when asked if he had spoken to Terry about it.

"No. I have never had a discussion. I like to speak to my players (but) I don't like to speak about this. It is not a question I want to speak about here.

"For him nothing has changed. He has played a very good game and every game he is leading very well. He is doing his best every game.

"The atmosphere in the team is the same. No change."

Ancelotti also vowed that the interest in Terry would not derail the Blues' title bid.

"Nothing can disturb our concentration in this competition," he said.

"I think that Chelsea are focused for every game.

"Sometimes we play good football and sometimes we have more difficulty but the concentration is always on top."

Hull boss Phil Brown admitted that the level of interest in Terry's appearance had taken him aback but denied it had any effect on the match itself.

"You had the John Terry effect and you had the whole media circus that is surrounding this situation John finds himself in.

"For the team coach to come into the internal grounds of the KC Stadium and be followed by all the cameras...then you realise the intensity of the situation. But as far as we're concerned we were focused on playing football."

Brown went on to praise his side for taking the fight to the league leaders.

"We went 1-0 up and I was disappointed with the goal we conceded. Then you've got the second half and you've got to defend valiantly which we did.

"But we played some great football too, we put them under pressure - no doubt about it. We fully deserved a point and maybe even all three."

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