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Mar 18, 2012

Terry: AVB 'won't be forgotten'

John Terry says he will continue to stay in contact with Andre Villas-Boas following his sacking as Chelsea manager.

Terry has been in touch with the 34-year-old since he lost his job two weeks ago after barely eight months in charge. Villas-Boas' fractious relationship with some of his players was one of the factors behind his downfall, but Terry was reportedly not among the detractors and believes the Portuguese will be missed at Stamford Bridge.

"I'm still in contact with him - like a lot of players here - and probably will remain that way," Terry said.

"He won't be forgotten. It's disappointing, really, because we would have loved things to go on and he had a vision and a plan and, unfortunately, that gets cut short with disappointing performances from us.

"At the end of the day, we're the ones out there performing and we weren't performing as well as we could do."

On Tuesday night, Terry branded claims Chelsea's senior players ran the dressing room as "complete nonsense" after Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny suggested their influence on owner Roman Abramovich led to Villas-Boas' demise.

"The perception from outside is that there are problems in the football club, senior players run the club, it's controlled by us, we make decisions," said Terry. "It's really not the case and hasn't been since I've been at the football club.

"Initially, when Roman came in, he spoke to the players and wanted advice as he was new to football, he took that on board. Now he's got the right people involved and people he can rely on without the players, which he does, and they make the decisions."

Fellow veteran Frank Lampard, though, believes Villas-Boas focus on the future cost him in the short-term.

"His plan was long-term," Lampard told The Sun Sunday. "But somewhere in the middle of that, the present didn't go so well - and that's where the problems came.

"To be fair to AVB, that was part of the remit and I get that we need to move on and change. But you can't lose sight of the present."

Lampard and Ashley Cole were left out of the side for the first leg of their Champions League tie against Napoli, which they lost 3-1 in Italy.

Lampard admitted he had told Villas-Boas what he thought of that decision, adding: "I wasn't disrespectful. I just told him I thought I should be playing.

"I told him what I felt and he had no problem with me saying it. I wasn't making a stand. The fact we might not have seen eye to eye was irrelevant to me."

Lampard also revealed he had sent a text to Villas-Boas after his departure and received a reply.

"He thanked me for being a top professional, which I appreciated,'' Lampard said. "A lot of people think the players didn't play for him or respond. We did but it just didn't work out."

Roberto Di Matteo has been installed as caretaker manager following the exit of Villas-Boas, which has paid off in spectacular fashion with a hat-trick of wins. Di Matteo insists he has not thought about taking on the job full-time, claiming he is thinking only about Chelsea's FA Cup quarter-final tie against Leicester.

"That has not crossed my mind for one second," Di Matteo said. "I have so many things to do you can't even imagine. I am focusing just to get the team ready to the best of my ability for Sunday.

"We have set ourselves the target for the season and there doesn't need to be any other discussions."

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