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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Becks backs Terry as captain

John Terry has revealed David Beckham was the first person to congratulate him when he was awarded the England captaincy.

The Chelsea defender will lead the national team for the first time against Greece tomorrow night at Old Trafford.

Terry beat Liverpool's Steven Gerrard to the captaincy awarded by new manager Steve McClaren after Beckham stood down after the World Cup.

'Him (Beckham) and Steven (Gerrard) were the first to call me. Becks was the first to call and congratulate which was very nice,' said Terry.

'He said I'm always here if you want a conversation about anything which is really nice.

'I'm my own man. (I'll be) very much like at Chelsea, a leader. On the pitch my leadership qualities will hopefully come out.'

The 25-year-old could not shed too much light on the problem suffered by Dean Ashton who was taken to hospital after sustaining an injury in training.

'I'm not too sure. The defenders were away and the strikers were doing other bits and pieces and we just heard a moan from Dean and he was on the floor and everyone rushed over,' he said.

'All the lads are disappointed for him but he is a great player and hopefully he'll bounce back soon.'

Instead, Terry focused on the strength of the squad, which will see Jermain Defoe, who missed out on the World Cup, partner Peter Crouch up front.

'It's a very strong squad,' he added. 'When you look at it it's very young and very exciting going forwards, we will see a lot from the forward line.'

Terry also admitted the team were looking to make up for the disappointment of the World Cup where they crashed out in the quarter-finals in a penalty shoot-out against Portugal.

'We all feel disappointed still. They (the fans) are as disappointed as us. This is an early chance to come back in front of the fans because they've been fantastic. We are going out to put on a good performance and hopefully a win,' he told a press conference today.

'The last couple of days training has been fantastic and the sharpness has been very good. It's the first game under the new manager who is really looking forward to it too.

'Rather than just talking about it it's about time we started doing it without performances.

'There is no point saying things are going to be fantastic. As players we have to go out and give a good performance after the disappointment of the World Cup.'

When questioned about the possibility of Ashley Cole joining Terry at Stamford Bridge, he said: 'I'm not too sure. I hope so, he is a world class player.

'Wayne Bridge has had a fantastic pre-season so if we can get Ashley Cole as well we'll have two of the best left-backs in the world.'