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By ESPN Staff

Chelsea play down reports of Terry bust-up

Chelsea are playing down suggestions of an alleged bust-up between coach Henk ten Cate and captain John Terry prior to Sunday's Carling Cup final defeat by Tottenham.

The pair were reported to have been pulled apart by other players after a training ground row.

The confrontation was understood to have been seen by the club's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich who was visiting the training ground.

Eyewitnesses reportedly saw Ten Cate face up to England captain Terry during Saturday's session and with the pair trading swear words and insults, other players had to step in to defuse the row.

Terry, like the rest of the squad, had not been told whether he would be in Avram Grant's side to face Tottenham at Wembley.

But the centre-half, who had been omitted from the Champions League game against Olympiacos the previous Tuesday, was included in the team along with Frank Lampard.

Holders Chelsea relinquished their grip on the trophy after going ahead in the first half through Didier Drogba as goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Jonathan Woodgate gave Spurs their first silverware since 1999.

A Chelsea spokesperson dismissed the row suggestions and said: 'All our focus is on our next game.'

That game is at West Ham on Saturday when Chelsea hope to shake off the memory of the Wembley defeat and continue their push for a third Premier League title in four years.

One eyewitness to Terry's spat with Ten Cate reportedly claimed: 'The session was supposed to put the finishing touches to the final plans for Wembley - but it just descended into a massive row.

'There was a lot of unrest among the squad because no-one knew what the team was going to be for Wembley.

'Everyone was trying to guess what was going on and in the end the frustration became too much. But the intensity of the row took everyone by surprise.

'John and Ten Cate were right in each other's faces and when it became clear that neither was going to back down, other players jumped between them to pull them apart.

'To make matters worse, Mr Abramovich was visiting the training ground and saw the whole thing.'

Dutchman Ten Cate was appointed first team coach last October but despite the row, Terry insisted on Monday that the preparations for the final had not been affected by the doubts over team selection.

He said: 'The manager keeps it all very close to his chest and none of us knew until Sunday and that is how it has been in every game.

'So there was no change or excuse. That is the way it has got to be, it keeps everyone on their toes and as a group of players we have to deal with it.'