Belfast Telegraph

Conte evasive over skipper John Terry's future with Chelsea

Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 - Chelsea 2

By Miguel Delaney

Antonio Conte says he would "sign now" for Chelsea's season to end with a double and John Terry to lift the FA Cup as captain, but refused to be drawn on the 36-year-old's future, despite praising his influence off the pitch.

Terry made a rare start this season in the 2-0 FA Cup fifth round win over Wolves, bringing his number of appearances for the campaign up to 10, with just five in the League.

The captain performed solidly, but won't quieten speculation about his future. Asked whether he'd like to see Terry finish the season by lifting the FA Cup, Conte said: "I'd sign now for this. Now I'd sign.

"It won't be easy because now there are eight teams who are strong with great surprise. But I think we have to think in ourself and go step by step.

"Tomorrow we will have a day off and then on Monday it is important to restart to think on the league. We play against Swansea (City on Saturday) and for sure it will be a really tough game. It is important to win."

Conte was evasive when asked on Terry's future, however, merely re-iterating it's important to "focus on the present".

"I like to reply this question for John. But also for all the players, for us it is very important to be focused on the present.

"Because I repeat we stay now in a good position, we stay in the top of the table, in the quarter-final of the FA Cup, the most important thing is now, the present, to work and build a good future.

"Then yeah for sure we will see the situation of every single player and we try to make the best decision for every single player… I want to be very clear, no, because I think every player deserve… if every player deserve to play, I'm pleased to give the opportunity but not because there is a sentiment, or because I think the right way to give every single player what they deserve.

"If, I think John Terry deserve to play this game and he played, played very well, very happy for him. For me, he's a very important player, my captain and he's important in and off the pitch.

"I repeat, he's helping me a lot, and I'm very pleased to have him in my squad and also to know this type of person."


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