Belfast Telegraph

Matic hails "big player" Terry

Nemanja Matic hopes to play alongside John Terry for many years to come at Chelsea.

The Serbia midfielder has become a key member of a squad which Terry continues to lead with great authority.

The 34-year-old Blues captain is entering the final six months of his Chelsea contract, which was extended for a year last summer.

Terry, who scored for a second successive game in Friday's 2-0 defeat of West Ham, is bidding to lead Chelsea to a fourth Premier League title in 10 seasons, but a first since 2010.

"John is a big player, he's our captain and he deserves everything," Matic told Chelsea TV.

"He's one of the best central defenders in England ever. It's good to have him in the team. I hope he will continue for a few more years like this."

Should Terry's form continue it is likely his Chelsea career will be extended in the summer, but his primary focus is on the here and now.

So, too, is Matic's ahead of Sunday's trip to Southampton, where Chelsea will bid to finish 2014 on a high and begin 2015 on top of the Barclays Premier League.

"We are focused always on the next game," Matic added.

"We look at this like a new challenge, like a new opportunity to show our quality and we will continue like this.

"We had some stretches in the dressing room (after the West Ham win) and we are already focused on Southampton.

"We will try to prepare ourselves for that game and I hope we will continue to win."

Jose Mourinho has no injury concerns or suspensions, but must determine how best to utilise his squad with matches against Tottenham and Watford, in the FA Cup, in the following seven days.

"They are good. They are strong. They are human," Mourinho told Chelsea TV.

"We have to try to find this balance between the good condition they have and the human side of it.

"Everyone will be a bit tired, but at the same time smiling you are not so tired.

"(Eden) Hazard, (Cesc) Fabregas, Oscar, Willian, Diego (Costa) - they are happy guys on the pitch and they express that happiness in the way they are playing football.

"I think it's not a drama. We have to go for it."

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