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Exclusive: Lampard and Cole will be missed, says Chelsea skipper Terry

Talking to IBNLive Sports, a fit-again Chelsea captain added he is raring to hit the ground in his 20th year with the club.

Amit Kumar | IBNLive Sportsamitkumar104

Updated:August 14, 2014, 1:48 PM IST
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Exclusive: Lampard and Cole will be missed, says Chelsea skipper Terry
Talking to IBNLive Sports, a fit-again Chelsea captain added he is raring to hit the ground in his 20th year with the club.

John Terry's relentless determination shows no sign of going down. His 20-year stint at the Premier League club Chelsea is a living example of that.

The most successful captain of all time at Stamford Bridge, the 33-year-old Terry has led Chelsea to three EPL titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and a UEFA Champions League trophy.

Eyeing another EPL title in his 20th year at the London-based club, Terry will be leading a young Chelsea side that will be without the services of star players Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole.

Terry and Branislav Ivanovic will be the only seniors in the side after Cole joined AS Roma on a free transfer this summer while Lampard will be playing as a central midfielder for Manchester City on loan from New York City FC.

Talking to IBNLive Sports the Chelsea captain threw some light on the squad, its plans and chances in the Premier League season beginning Saturday.

You joined the Blues as a 14-year-old. How do you see your 20-year career here?

It's funny to think about it, but I've done everything at this club: washed the kit, cleaned the stadium, cleaned the toilets, and washed the players' cars. I've done some bizarre things that were part of my education growing up, but they've definitely served me well.

You signed a new contract with the club this summer. Are you satisfied?

I'm delighted to have signed for another year. I feel good, I feel fit. Last season went well for me personally and hopefully I can repeat that, but this time we obviously want to win trophies. I thoroughly enjoyed my education as a young pro in the YTS (Youth Training Scheme).

You started as a midfielder in the youth team before becoming arguably the best defender this club has ever had. Did you ever think of it?

No, I didn't imagine it. I didn't imagine becoming a centre-half, for sure. I was moved back there for one game and the rest is history, but the most pleasing thing for me, having first come into the side when I did, is remaining here following the investment of Mr. Abramovich. We have had the possibility to sign the best players in the world - and we have done - but to still remain in the side is testament to my character and my determination to fight and work for my place.

When I first came into the squad, it was down to me to break into the team ahead of Frank Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly, which was a task in itself, but I have always relished that kind of challenge and I still relish it now - I don't want to give up my place to a younger player. One day it is going to come to an end, but I'm hoping that is still a few years away.

You have now been club captain for 10 years.

Yeah, it's been a long time. I can remember even before that, when the older players like Wisey, Franco, Graeme Le Saux and Hitchy were all saying things like, "The time's right, the club's moving in a different direction and we see you as the next captain." It was something natural for me, being a leader on the field.

The way I train and the way I play is to always give everything, and that is what I demand of the players around me.

Your preparations ahead of the season?

I hadn't played much under Rafa and I did my ankle towards the end of the season, so when Jose's appointment was announced, I wanted to come in early and hit the ground running. It comes back to that mentality where I always want to impress and do well. I came in with Jon Fearn, the physio, and we did some work both outside and inside, which just got rid of that stiffness and the blisters, so that when the lads came in, I was already a week into it. It's a head-start and it definitely served me well because I feel great already and hopefully it will benefit me later in the year as well.

Chelsea will be without the star players Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole. How different do things feel this pre-season?

It feels different coming in and Lamps not sitting next to me. We have sat next to each other in the changing room since...well, since he signed for the club really. I've become really close to Lamps and Ash and they were my two best mates at the club. So I'm really sad to see arguably the best player the club has ever had, in Lamps, move on, for what he brought to the dressing room and as a mate.

You understand that you all get older, but you just hope that point doesn't come. It's the same with Ash. It was a big move for him to come here from Arsenal at the time. He took a lot of stick but it was a bold move and it took a lot of guts to do what he did. For me, he has been the best left-back England has ever had - that is why we signed him.

They will certainly be missed, although I'm sure the fans will never forget them.

How do you view the young and talented squad for the 2014-15 season

A lot of the young boys who were here at the start of pre-season were out on loan last season and have come back this summer, so they may see openings for themselves as well. I and Branner [Branislav Ivanovic] were talking about how we're the oldest outfield players here at the moment and the club has certainly become a lot younger over the last couple of years. Now it is down to us to maintain our level.

What's you take on the signing of Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona?

He's a very good signing. He is great on the ball, a great box-to-box player. He scores an awful lot of goals as well and he has got an aggressive streak in him too; I certainly remember that from his Arsenal days. I'm sure he is going to fit in really well at Chelsea and do well in the years to come.

How confident are you with this squad?

I think we should be very competitive. We were close last year but just unlucky at times. With the signings we have made and a couple of younger players, who I think will surprise a few people this year, I think this should be a very good year. We want to win trophies - that is always the aim from the outset for me.

Challenges for the league title?

I can see a lot more teams in the mix. First and foremost, though, we need to be solid, both home and away, because I think we dropped too many points (last season) against teams we shouldn't have.

Although we did very well against the top sides - and had the best record in games amongst them - we probably had the worst record of the title contenders against the lower sides. It is difficult to go away to certain places, but the West Ham game at Stamford Bridge [a goalless draw in February] sticks out in my mind as well. You have to win those kinds of games because sides do come to try and nick a point, or maybe have a go in the last 10 minutes to get a goal. We need to be prepared for that.

We need those special players going forward, like Eddy [Eden Hazard] who was brilliant last year, to keep unlocking defences and getting us goals when we need them.

Read more from John Terry in this month's Chelsea Magazine, which you can download to view on your tablet now from www.chelseafc.com/mobile.

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