Chelsea defence can cope without John Terry for now - Gary Cahill
PARIS -- Gary Cahill has said the Chelsea defence can cope without John Terry after the Blues mounted a stubborn resistance in the absence of their injured captain in a 2-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie at Parc des Princes.
Branislav Ivanovic partnered Cahill at the heart of the Chelsea backline after Terry opted not to travel to Paris with the squad, having tweaked a hamstring in an aerial tussle with Aleksandar Mitrovic during the first half of Saturday's 5-1 rout of Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.
Goals in each half from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and substitute Edinson Cavani gave PSG victory, but some heroic defending and a string of impressive saves from Thibaut Courtois ensured Chelsea will welcome the Ligue 1 leaders to Stamford Bridge next month with hope as they look to build on John Obi Mikel's away goal.
Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink said the club must be cautious with Terry's recovery and it is unclear whether the 35-year-old will be fit in time to feature in Sunday's FA Cup fifth round clash with Manchester City. Cahill, however, does not think it will be an issue.
"Defensively we were really strong," Cahill said. "Obviously when you concede two [it doesn't look good] but if you look at the amount of final third entries they had, the amount of corners they had, the amount of blocks we made -- they ask a lot of questions of you here.
"I've played with Iva before [at centre-back], although not very often. It seems this year that happens -- when I play it's with a different right-back, a different centre-back, everything's reshuffled but you adapt. I played with Iva in the Premier League and in the [2013 Europa League final] and was successful, so I don't see it being a problem if John's not available.
"Ideally we would have everyone available, all our strongest players. Let's see with John [if he's fit] but I've played with Iva in big games before, so I don't see it being a problem."
Terry expects to end his 18-year professional association with Chelsea at the end of the season after being informed in January that the club had declined to offer him a contract extension.
However, the Blues insist that "channels of dialogue" will remain open with their captain over his future.