Chelsea captain John Terry ready to fight for his place in the side

Last Updated: 18/02/13 3:54pm

John Terry: Chelsea captain respects Rafa Benitez's decisions

Chelsea captain John Terry says he is happy to sit on the substitutes' bench, if it is what is best for the team.

The 32-year-old defender made just his third start under interim boss Rafa Benitez in Chelsea's 4-0 FA Cup win over Brentford to set up a fifth-round clash at Middlesbrough a week on Wednesday.

A knee injury restricted his involvement prior to Benitez's appointment and a further setback saw him miss the defeat of Wigan before being an unused substitute, for a fifth time under the Spaniard, in the Europa League win at Sparta Prague.

Terry could return to the bench for Thursday's second leg with Sparta ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash at Manchester City.

"It is not about Rafa, me or Frank Lampard, it is not about anybody," said Terry, who denied a report of a bust-up with Benitez.

"I am not one to go in and knock the manager's door down. I respect the other players. I have to fight for my place, the same as everyone. I think it is important that comes across from me directly."

John Terry

"It is about this football club winning games and if we are doing that, the fans are happy. That's all they want to see.

"If that's with me in the side, great. If not, then I will be their biggest supporter and I'll sit there and support the team like the fans will."

Terry continued: "I'm not silly. I've been out for four months - the other two guys have been playing really well, so it is going to be difficult for me to get back in.

"Naturally I want to play games; the manager doesn't need to ask me that question to know what answer he is going to get.

"I am not one to go in and knock the manager's door down. I respect the other players. I have to fight for my place, the same as everyone. I think it is important that comes across from me directly.

"When you are playing for 10 years you don't just get selected. You have to play well, train well and impress managers.

"The most frustrating thing was that when Rafa came in, I wasn't fit and I wasn't able to impress him and show what I am about.

"I have got a bit of catching up to do. He has not seen me at 100 per cent. I still need a couple of games, that is clear. But if I am called upon all I can do is come in and play well. There is no rift."