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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Oct, 2, 2007

Terry desperate to play on, insists Grant

Chelsea manager Avram Grant was tonight assessing the health of John Terry before deciding whether the England centre-half will be able to play in tomorrow's Champions League clash at Valencia. Terry underwent surgery on Sunday after suffering a broken cheekbone during Saturday's Barclays Premier League draw with Fulham and is the chief injury doubt ahead of the Group B encounter in Spain. Terry took part in team training at Valencia's Mestalla stadium tonight wearing a face mask, but Chelsea will wait before making a decision on whether their skipper will be fit to play in 24 hours' time. 'John Terry wants to play which is very good. Now we need to wait for training and then we will speak with the medical department and decide,' said Grant. 'But he wants to play, which is good for us.' Blues winger Joe Cole believes it would be blow to lose Terry for the game against Valencia, which will see Chelsea return to the ground where they won 2-1 to progress through to last season's semi-finals of this competition. 'John Terry is very important, he is our captain on and off the pitch. He's our leader. He was operated on the other night and he wants to play,' said Cole of his fellow England international. Terry's value as a defender has also been noted by opponents Valencia, with the Spanish side's striker David Villa dubbing his would-be marker one of the world's leading - and bravest - stoppers. 'After the blow that he received on Saturday, there are few players in the world who could play, but he is one of them,' said Spain ace Villa. 'We know that if he is not there, there will be somone else with similar characterisitcs, although he is one of the best in his position.' Aside from Terry, Chelsea could also call on Michael Essien for tomorrow's match. The Ghanaian midfielder, whose late strike earned Chelsea that quarter-final win here last season, returns from injury. Grant will still be without a number of senior players, including Frank Lampard, but Villa insists his side are not focussing on which Blues stars are absent. 'We are not obsessing about which players they are missing,' Villa added. 'We want to play our game with the intention of overcoming them.' Chelsea go into the game knowing a good result is crucial following last month's disappointing home draw with Rosenborg in their opening Group B fixture. In contrast, Valencia picked up an impressive three-point haul from their trip to Schalke - one of seven victories in eight competitive matches this season for Quique Sanchez Flores' side. Grant, who replaced Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese left Chelsea following that draw with Rosenborg, is well aware of the importance of tomorrow's match. 'The game that is nearest is the most important, as it will be for Valencia. We must forget the fact that we lost two points in the first match and get a good result,' said Grant, who insists a stylish performance tomorrow is secondary to his side putting their Champions League campaign back on track. 'We want to win every game. If we can make tomorrow4s game exciting as well then we will do it, but we want to win tomorrow's game.' One of Grant's concerns heading into the clash is his side4s recent lack of goals. Aside from a 4-0 thrashing of Hull in the Carling Cup last week, Chelsea have netted just once since August, with the solitary strike coming against Rosenborg. 'We need to play our game. We need to try and score and make the most of our opportunities, more so than we have done before,' said Grant.

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