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Mar 13, 2012

Player power claims 'nonsense' - Terry

John Terry has accused Wojciech Szczesny and Luiz Felipe Scolari of talking ''complete nonsense'' about the Chelsea dressing room and says Roman Abramovich is in complete control.

• Terry pleased with Capello backing
• Szczesny: Chelsea run by players
• Scolari: Chelsea job will be 'hell'

Terry rubbished Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny's claim that Andre Villas-Boas' sacking as manager proved the Blues' players effectively ran the club.

Former Chelsea boss Scolari also warned Villas-Boas' successor ''hell'' awaited him because of the influence of the squad on owner Abramovich.

Blues captain Terry hit back ahead of Chelsea's Champions League last-16 second leg against Napoli, saying: ''We win and lose together at this club - we're all responsible for the results we have.

''As for the senior players running this football club, that's nonsense. That's just the perception from outside. Roman and the board make the decisions.

''On the football pitch, that can affect what happens upstairs of course. If we don't win matches, the board step in. People speculating from various different clubs or previous managers, that's complete nonsense.''

Chelsea will need all that and more if they are to become only the fourth club to overturn a first-leg deficit of two goals or more in the Champions League. The Blues were written off by some after their 3-1 defeat in Naples three weeks ago and Terry admitted reaching the quarter-finals would represent one of his greatest achievements.

''If it all goes well, it could go down as one of the great nights of Chelsea's history,'' said Terry, who was under no illusions over the task at hand.

History is well and truly against the Blues, who have not won any of their last five home Champions League knockout matches.

Terry said: ''It'll be very tough. Seeing their last game, too, when they won 6-3, defensively, we need to be really solid. It'll be a balance, and communication will be key. They'll have watched videos of us and know we can open teams up.

''We can break teams down and be solid ourselves. But an early goal and a good start would be great for us.''

The Champions League has been the Holy Grail at Chelsea ever since Abramovich bought the club nine years ago and with reports of a mass clearout this summer, Terry admitted this season could be the last chance for many of his team-mates to achieve European glory.

Terry said: ''Naturally, we have players out of contract and players in negotiation with their current contracts. I'm hoping many stay and many come in.''

And after so many near misses in the competition, Terry could be forgiven for thinking Chelsea are cursed.

He said: ''Listen, we don't feel cursed. We've been unfortunate in previous big nights here. You need a quality team to go on and win this competition, allied with a bit of luck which we've missed out on.

''But I know we've still got an abundance of quality here, and the determination buzzing around that dressing room to make this happen.''

Terry admitted Chelsea would take inspiration from Arsenal almost overturning a four-goal deficit against AC Milan last week as they aimed to prevent English football suffering its worst Champions League season since 1996.

He said: ''Arsenal pushed it as close as they possibly could. They went out, and we're the last side. Robbie has spoken about this not being the last Champions League game at the Bridge this year.''

He added: ''Getting off to a good start may be a key factor. If not, we've got the experience and patience as well to know that it takes only a few minutes to score two goals.''

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