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Apr 19, 2013

Benitez: I have no problem with Terry

Rafa Benitez has said he can "guarantee" he has no problems with John Terry, despite the Chelsea captain's recent comments about his fitness and status at the club.

• Liverpool v Chelsea preview
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Terry scored twice in Wednesday's 3-0 win at Fulham, but had been an unused substitute in the previous game - the 2-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City at Wembley.

Despite the defender's goals, Benitez said he was not guaranteed a starting place for Chelsea's next match, away to Liverpool on Sunday.

Terry said he had no issues with his fitness and could play three games a week if needed. He also said he was unsure of his current status in the Stamford Bridge pecking order, but that he accepted the rotation policy favoured by Benitez.

But the manager said: "I can guarantee we don't have any problem. He's training, is available, and he understands I have to make a decision. He wants to see the team winning games.

"He's fine, he's training with the team, he's OK. I've seen the comments. Everybody wants to win. Everybody wants to see the team at the top and in the Champions League next season. I agree 100%.

"He also says he can understand if I pick another player for the team. We agree. If I pick him, it's because I think he's fine. If not, I think another team-mate might be better for this or that game. But everything is fine."

He said Terry, now training with the rest of the Chelsea squad after recovering from a knee injury, was "an important player for us".

And he added: "We have a good squad, a lot of good players. I have to pick the team. It depends on each game."

On Sunday, Benitez returns to Liverpool for the first time since leaving in June 2010.

He said: "I am professional. I was there six years. I have a lot of good friends and good memories, so it will be quite emotional. But I will concentrate on the game and try and do my best for 90 minutes.

"I'm committed to Chelsea until the end of the season, to win and achieve our targets."

He declined to comment on speculation that he had been approached to return to Liverpool before Brendan Rodgers took over in the summer, saying: "I have a lot of respect for Liverpool and for their managers. I don't want a misunderstanding, so I'd prefer not to talk about their managers."

Defenders Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole are back in full training after recent injuries but may not be ready for Sunday, Benitez said.

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