John Terry has thanked Jose Mourinho for rescuing his Chelsea career and restoring him as a central part of the team’s defence.
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Terry, 32, lost his place in the Blues’ side under Andre Villas-Boas in 2011-12 as the Portuguese coach tried to change the side’s playing style and again under Rafa Benitez last season as he struggled with injury.
But this season the former England captain has started every Premier League game and credits Mourinho for his resurgence.
“He came in and laid the law down, saying, ‘Listen. It’s pretty simple. You play well, you’re in the side. If not, you won’t play,’” Terry told a news conference ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League game against Schalke.
“That’s how it is for everyone, like it was before when he was here.
“Did my self-esteem suffer? I think so, with the injuries as well.
“When you are not playing week in, week out -- I was out for four or five months, sitting there watching the lads -- it is difficult to take.
“It was the first time I have been out with a long injury.
“When you do get your chance it’s more emphasis on impressing to stay in. When I was playing well last year, scoring, I didn’t maintain my place as well.
“So it was quite frustrating.
“But the manager’s been great for me. He’s very honest with us, as individuals and collectively.
“My career is where it is because of this man sitting next to me.
"I’m very proud to be working with him again and the team -- which most importantly is in a good period at the moment.”
Terry is out of contract in the summer but he is focusing on helping Chelsea to have a successful season before focusing on his own future.
“For me, it’s about playing,” he said. “That’s the most important thing. That takes care of itself [the contract].
“The manager was honest with me at the start of the season: You play well and stay fit, you’re in the side.
“If I get injured, everything’s up in the air. We don’t really know. But now I’m playing well.
“Hopefully everything else takes care of itself.”