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Mar 23, 2011

Crouch and Milner add to Terry support

James Milner and Peter Crouch have insisted England are ready to move on from debates about John Terry's captaincy, but took time to express their support for the Three Lions skipper nonetheless.

• Terry rejects Bellamy jibe
• Ramsey eager for Wales return
• Jarvis enjoying England experience
• Terry: Captaincy not caused rift
• Bellamy: England stars "afraid" of fans
• Rio calls Terry to wish him luck

Terry has taken over the captain's armband again from the injured Rio Ferdinand, just 13 months after the Chelsea skipper lost the job following newspaper reports about his private life.

Since England coach Fabio Capello announced the reinstatement of Terry, the debate has taken the focus away from the side's European Championship qualifier against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, but the English media has refused to relent in their pursuit of the story.

Faced with yet more questions about Terry in Wednesday's press conference, Manchester City midfielder Milner became the latest player to lend his support to the Chelsea skipper.

"(It's) just business as usual, the manager's made the decision,'' Milner said. "Everyone's happy for JT. It's obviously disappointing for Rio. We're fortunate to have a number of leaders in this squad.

"He puts his head in where a lot of people wouldn't. He leads off the field as well. The manager makes his decision and we stand behind them. JT is a leader, he might not have been captain over the last year but he's not changed the way he has been.

"The most important thing is leading on and off the field and as an England player he's been absolutely fantastic.''

Tottenham striker Crouch was also happy to add his praise for the Chelsea defender, but stressed that England's players were focused only on the Wales game.

"There was a lot of talk about it. There are no problems with anyone,'' Crouch said."There was a lot of talk over unrest, but it was not an issue at all. John Terry has always been fantastic on the pitch, has led Chelsea to doubles.

"He's a great leader on the pitch and will be again for England. The manager likes defenders to be the captain and John has done it for so long. He`s been at Chelsea for years and has been captain for a long, long time.

"He wears his heart on his sleeve and tries to bring out the best in all others around him, which is why he is such a leader. All the players are happy.''

Crouch also reserved a word of comfort for the displaced Ferdinand.

"It's a real shame for Rio,'' Crouch said. "He's a top-class player and a great lad and when he was here he was a great leader as well. It`s a shame with the injuries and with him not being here. The manager has decided to change the captain and, with the armband being passed around in the last game, the manager wanted to stick with John Terry.''

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