Belfast Telegraph

Rafael Benitez will always be in firing line, warns Chelsea captain John Terry

By Jack Pitt-Brooke

John Terry has told Rafael Benitez that abuse from fans is the unfortunate price to pay for Chelsea's poor form.

Benitez has been routinely barracked by supporters since his appointment as interim manager last November, as results have been disappointing with Chelsea slipping to 16 points behind Manchester United. Now Terry has claimed bad results meant criticism was unavoidable.

"That falls on us because if you are winning games, that gets taken away," the Chelsea captain said of the abuse. "If you are losing games, the pressure is on the manager. He has to take responsibility because he is the one who picks the team. So if we are not [winning], naturally with all managers, it falls on his head unfortunately.

"[The fans] pay their money so they are entitled to echo their thoughts. All we can do is concentrate on our jobs and that is winning games. If we can do that, it completely takes that away. We won [against Brentford] and I didn't hear much – it takes it away."

Terry insisted that everyone at Chelsea should pull together for the good of the team. "The fans have their opinion and the players and the most important thing is the team winning games. People speak about things – it's not about Rafa, it's not about me, it's not about Lamps [Frank Lampard], it's not about anybody. It's about this football club winning games and if we are doing that, the fans are happy. That's all they want to see."

Terry made clear how much he hoped Lampard would stay at Chelsea beyond this summer, when his contract expires. "I am not even going to entertain that," Terry said of the prospect of seeing Lampard line up for another side. "I don't even want to think about it. He has got so much more to give and he is an inspiration to everyone at the football club. Still, at his age, he is the best trainer by a million miles.

"We all hope that [his next few years] are here, but if not he has certainly got years ahead of him."

Still in the FA Cup and the Europa League, Chelsea are also hoping to make up the four-point gap to Manchester City in second place in the league. "You say we have had a bad season but we can still easily get second," Terry said. "We have got a tough game away to Man City [on Sunday] but if we can go on a run that we are more than capable of, we have got a real chance."

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