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Mar 23, 2012

Terry: I don't think I'm the manager

Chelsea captain John Terry has responded to criticism that he took charge of the team from the sidelines during the Blues' 4-1 win over Napoli in the Champions League last week.

• Preview: Chelsea v Tottenham

Terry, 31, was spotted shouting instructions to team-mates from behind interim manager Roberto Di Matteo and was criticised in the media.

The defender missed Wednesday night's defeat at Manchester City with a calf strain but trained fully on Thursday and is expected to return to the side for Saturday's game with Tottenham, but played down any suggestions he was looking to move into management.

"In response to comments suggesting that I think I'm the manager, I'd like to say Robbie has stepped up and been immense," he said. "I am Chelsea through and through whether I am on the pitch or off it.

"Had I still been on the pitch [against Napoli] I would have been saying the same things that I was from the bench. That is my role as captain of this club.

"Just because I have come off the pitch, it doesn't mean to say my mentality changes. People might see it the wrong way, but I care about this football club, we all do, and Robbie and his backroom staff deserve full credit."

Wednesday night's defeat at Manchester City saw Chelsea slip five points behind Tottenham, who themselves dropped to fourth place after drawing against Stoke, and Di Matteo acknowledged the London derby was a game the Blues dare not lose.

He said: ''Obviously, a win would give us a big, big lift. But, also, if we manage just to get a draw, I think we're still in it.

''If we lose, I think it will be very difficult afterwards. Mathematically it is still possible so we will fight until the end but we are looking to have a good game tomorrow.''

On Terry, he simply said: ''He's very influential for us in the team and we are very pleased that he's back."

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