The match-winner for Chelsea against Roma on Wednesday night, John Terry has attacked any suggestion that he did not do enough to be fit for England's World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Belarus.
The Chelsea captain withdrew from the squad with a back injury but insisted that there is no long-term damage.
Terry had pulled out of the England squad on the Monday before the Belarus game on 15 October having failed to play against Kazakhstan four days earlier. He went back to Chelsea for treatment and injections in his back sufficiently eased the pain so he could train on Friday. His goal against Roma in the Champions League came on Terry's 12th consecutive Chelsea appearance this season – an ever-present in all competitions.
"I was gutted to come back from England," Terry said. "There were four days when I really should have come back earlier, but I said to the manager [Fabio Capello] that I wanted to give it a real go. Each day I tried, but it just didn't get better.
"It's disappointing to work hard my whole career, to not miss any games and then, as soon as I do, hear people question me. There was no one more gutted than me as England captain to see them travel to Belarus. I was delighted that they got the two wins, but no one was more disappointed than me that I wasn't out there.
"Anyone who's managed me, or who knows me, knows what type of player I am. I've been criticised in the past for playing when I shouldn't have played, but as soon as I get a back injury everyone refers to the back injury I had a couple of years ago and say I'm pulling out of squads. It's disappointing because you can't win at times."
Terry dismissed the suggestion that his latest injury was linked to the surgery he had two years ago on a slipped disc. "I don't understand where all this is coming from," he said. "The back's in great condition. I haven't had any problems since I had the operation two years ago."