Terry in right frame of mind - AVB
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is certain John Terry will not be affected mentally by his forthcoming court case.
Charged on Wednesday with "a racially aggravated public order offence", Terry will face West London Magistrates Court on February 1, 24 hours after the Blues have faced Swansea in a Barclays Premier League game and four days before they tackle Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Prior to that, Chelsea have a packed festive programme to complete, starting with Thursday night's clash against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, but Villas-Boas said: "John has told me he is in the right frame of mind to play and showed fantastic commitment to the team. His performances have been good and I don't doubt his integrity as a person."
He added: "He represents this club to a maximum level and we're very grateful to have a player of his quality in our team, in what he represents in terms of history and achievements a the club. We know exactly his human values and personality, so we will support him whatever happens."
Terry will appreciate the backing as he faces one of the toughest battles of his career, knowing if he is found guilty of the charge brought following his altercation with QPR's Anton Ferdinand in October it is virtually certain to result in him being stripped of the England captaincy.
"I am disappointed with the decision to charge me and hope to be given the chance to clear my name as quickly as possible," said Terry. "I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends.
"I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence. I have campaigned against racism and believe there is no place for it in society."
The Football Association have given a brief response to the latest development, which came less than 24 hours after they handed Liverpool's Luis Suarez an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine for comments made to Manchester United's Patrice Evra seven days before the Terry incident took place.
A statement on their official website, www.thefa.com, read: "Further to the announcement by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today [21 December] regarding the allegation against John Terry following the Queens Park Rangers v Chelsea fixture on Sunday 23 October 2011, The Football Association will not be making any comment at this time."
Terry was caught by TV cameras appearing to mouth an obscenity at Anton Ferdinand, which he said afterwards had been "taken out of context".