Chelsea revived after players 'spoke their minds' in team meeting, says John Terry

12 April 2010 07:52
The dispiriting draw against Blackburn Rovers, on March 21, five days after the Champions League exit to Inter Milan, provoked a squad meeting in which "everyone spoke their mind", Terry said. The Chelsea captain added: "We got a few things off our chest that we were feeling. It goes with the territory. We knew we were disappointing and didn't really show the fight.

"First and foremost when you go to those places [Ewood Park] you have to show that you want it more than them. On that day, Blackburn wanted it more than us. We should have been the team fighting to keep our place at the top of the table and they showed more fight than we did, which was not acceptable."

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"Everyone spoke honestly. It is important that we have players who are prepared to speak their minds," Terry said, adding that the management also had their say. "It's important that we've got big characters around us to make sure we get up, get back on the horse and go again."

The meeting followed another exchange after the defeat to Inter, and after which it is understood the atmosphere at the Chelsea training ground was strained. Results were needed. Pressure was building with owner Roman Abramovich, who was at Wembley on Saturday, frustrated at what he feared would be another campaign of under-achievement while manager Carlo Ancelotti was under pressure.

It also coincided, of course, with Terry's own off-field problems in his private life which undoubtedly impacted on the way he was playing. Terry accepted that much of the criticism was justified but bridled at suggestions he was more specifically to blame. "I read some of the comments," he said, "but in a couple of games I understood them. I'm my own worst critic. When I have a bad game, I say it, like I did at Everton when I came out publicly and said it was my fault for the two goals [in a 2-1 defeat]. But other than that, I didn't really see myself playing badly. As a team we weren't playing well and subsequently it was my fault."

Clearly the sense is now, after a run of four victories, with 15 goals scored and a destiny back "in our own hands" in the Premier League title race, as well as a place in the FA Cup final, that Chelsea "have turned it around". There was praise also for Ancelotti and his bravery in making "big calls" in changing both the team and the formation.

"A few weeks ago it didn't really look like we were in the running for anything," Terry said. "I've won the league and the cup, singly, before so it would be incredible to now win the Double. It's something we haven't done in the past but now, where we are in the league, it's down to us and we can only throw it away really."

Source: Telegraph

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