Villas-Boas backs Terry return despite race row

28 October 2011 07:46

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas insisted on Friday that he will be happy to have John Terry leading out his side against Arsenal on Saturday despite the England skipper being engulfed in a race row.

"I see no reason why not," said the Chelsea manager after giving his full backing to the 30-year-old defender who is at the centre of an investigation into whether or not he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during last Sunday's defeat at Loftus Road.

Terry has categorically denied the allegations made against him.

Villas-Boas repeated that the race row had all been "a big misunderstanding".

Asked if it had become a wider issue than Terry's word against Ferdinand's, he added: "I don't know what it's become.

"For me, it's the end of the matter and it's under FA investigation and hopefully we can put an end to it."

Villas-Boas also denied the saga had been a distraction for his team as they look to close the six-point gap to Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.

"I don't think, for us, it's been a distraction," said Villas-Boas, whose side beat Everton in the League Cup on Wednesday without Terry.

"We haven't lost too much focus on the situation because there is nothing to lose focus on."

QPR boss Neil Warnock, whose side face Tottenham on Sunday, remained tight-lipped on the situation.

When asked how his defender was ahead of the Spurs match, he said: "He is playing very, very well. I think he is probably one of the best centre-backs in the country at the moment.

"I think Anton Ferdinand is a very good player and I am delighted to have him here."

Warnock was also asked what he thought of Chelsea's handling of the situation, to which he retorted: "I am only bothered about QPR, to be honest. That is for you to ask other people.

"There will be a statement, no doubt, at some stage. But, at this moment in time, we have not made a statement and we are not planning to."

Source: AFP