John Terry remains firmly in Roberto Di Matteo’s plans at Chelsea, as the Italian defended his decision to leave out his captain against Shakhtar Donetsk. Chelsea scraped a 3-2 win thanks to Victor Moses’ late goal, but were second best for much of the game against a slick Shakhtar outfit. The Blues looked shaky at the back, while Terry looked on
from the dugout despite being available after serving his domestic suspension.
The win could prove crucial as Chelsea bid to qualify for the knockout stages and it is likely Terry will have a role to play in the future.
“JT is a fantastic player and has many qualities and I am very happy that he is back available,” Di Matteo said. “But considering in the last four weeks he has had one competitive game I thought we needed players that were 100 per cent match fit for a game like this. But we will certainly need him.
“He is a massive player for us, we are happy he is back and he is our leader going forward.
“We probably lacked a little experience in terms of we didn’t have Frank Lampard or Ashley Cole available and JT didn’t play. In normal circumstances you would like them to be with you but the players who played did tremendously given the enormous pressure we were under in this game.
“We knew we needed to win and it was difficult given the quality Shakhtar have and the way they play.”
Commenting on Shakhtar’s goals, Di Matteo said: “You look at the goals and we had a lot of players back so it is not like we were outnumbered.
“The first goal we had two players slipping and the second we had plenty of players in defence to deal with the cut back, but we need to work on our defensive organisation and that has to improve over time.”