• FA Cup

Benitez tells Terry to compete amid fallout reports

ESPN staff
February 17, 2013
John Terry faces more time on the sidelines © Getty Images

The FA Cup is live on ESPN this season. Click here for details on how to subscribe

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has offered John Terry no assurances he will be handed back his starting spot, despite the club captain being close to overcoming his injury nightmare.

Terry sustained a knee injury at Liverpool and has made only two starts and one appearance under the Spanish coach. He was last spotted patrolling the sidelines as an unused substitute in the club's last-32 Europa league victory over Sparta Prague.

The 32-year-old is expected to make a rare start in Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round replay with Brentford, but Benitez - who is reported on Sunday to have had a major fallout with the defender after the recent defeat at Newcastle - stopped short of guaranteeing him a starting spot should he complete the match unscathed.

"He has to train normally three, four training sessions to be ready for the games," Benitez said. "Then if the others are playing well he has to compete [for selection].

"If he's fine, after we have to manage the other things. The main thing is if he can train every day he can be ready for every game. After we will see.

"We now have four options at centre-back. We have Terry, David [Luiz], any of them they can complement [each other] really well.

"The good thing is we have now [Gary] Cahill and [Branislav] Ivanovic playing well and also David Luiz as an option. If everything is fine, they have to compete. If something is wrong we have different options.

"All the players, they know, that at this level when you play so many games you have to train and you have to keep fit. It's not a question of 'No, I can carry on and play' and after not train. Everybody knows they have to compete and everybody knows we have good players now."

Held to a 2-2 draw by Brentford at Griffin Park, Benitez said his squad had properly prepared for the match, but admitted there would be few surprises in facing the League One club.

"Because we have seen them we know now what we can expect. I think that it will not be a surprise for anyone," he said. "In a cup competition that you know you cannot make mistakes. It's important to be sure that you approach the game without any complacency.

"From the first minute you have to concentrate and do the right things."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.