• Premier League

Terry: Chelsea old guard still key

ESPN staff
December 30, 2013
Chelsea saw off Liverpool to move two points from top spot © Getty Images

Chelsea captain John Terry has insisted the 'old guard' that have served the club so well over the course of the last decade still have plenty to offer alongside a new generation of stars at Stamford Bridge.

Terry, Frank Lampard and Petr Cech have remained as key figures in the Chelsea lineup during Jose Mourinho's second stint as Blues boss, with the skipper - who made his 600th appearance at the weekend - convinced his enduring teammates are still capable of mixing it with the best.

"The older boys in the squad have still got a lot to give, we see that every week," Terry told the Chelsea website. "There is new talent coming through the squad and one day it will come to an end, we all realise that, but it certainly won't be for the want of trying from us; trying to keep our place in the team.

"The manager has been asking for togetherness from everyone. Whether you play or you are on the bench, everyone's got a part to play. When the guys are not playing it's important they maintain their fitness and their sharpness and I think we have seen that in the last few games."

Terry believes Chelsea's 2-1 win on Sunday against Liverpool was their most complete yet this season, as he played down the disgruntled comments from the opposition suggesting they could have been awarded two penalties in the Stamford Bridge clash.

"I think the first half was the best we've played all season actually," he stated. "The pressing was spot on, as were the tactics from the manager. We know how important it was. Man United and Man City have gone on good runs and it's important over this period that we do the same.

"The tempo was excellent and it's good to do that in front of our home fans as well. Hopefully we can continue that as it's been coming. We've been playing okay, but feeling like we've got a little bit more to give and I thought we did that in this game.

"As for the penalty decisions, we could have had one at the other end as well. Throughout the season you're going to get some and you're not going to get some in the big games, but I thought the ref was good for both sides. In big games it's important to let both teams play."

Chelsea's win against Liverpool ensured they have enjoyed a bumper harvest of points this Christmas and another victory against Southampton at St Mary's on Wednesday would complete their perfect festive displays.

"It's going to be tough because they're very good at home and it proved a difficult game here when they scored pretty early," said Terry ahead of the game on the south coast. "They [Southampton] are a good footballing side, very much like Liverpool, who try and play out from the back so we're expecting a tough game."

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