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Hiddink plays down effect of Zouma injury on Terry future

Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink does not feel Kurt Zouma’s season-ending injury will necessarily lead to a new contract for departing captain John Terry.

The Chelsea skipper revealed last month that he is to depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, with the Premier League champions hit last weekend by a long-term knee injury to fellow centre-back Zouma.

Zouma’s absence may lead to January signing Matt Miazga being debuted earlier than expected but Hiddink would not be drawn on whether the injury had highlighted Terry’s importance.

“I don’t know, that’s something for the management and the board and the directors,” he told reporters.

“The door is open so we will see what happens. Miazga moves up and also I have the kid from academy [Jake Clarke-Salter] so we’ll see what happens.

“Inside our first-team squad of 15 or 16 we can make variations, we have options to choose from.

“The unexpected can happen, but we have youngsters and other players and we have no fear to use them. Miazga is physically okay but we’ll see what happens next week.”

Miazga could be in line for an appearance against Manchester City in the FA Cup next Sunday along with fellow new arrival Alexandre Pato.

Asked about Pato’s road to fitness and a possible debut against Newcastle Uni
ted on Saturday, Hiddink added: “Not this weekend, he is at the end of the second week of pre-season, he is doing well.

“Both him and Matt are training with us and doing an extra programme. This is made with a focus around next weekend so we will see how his fitness is.

“He is progressing, he came off holiday and obviously you can see the difference between those in daily training and someone who has come back from holiday.

“But he is progressing so we’ll see how he goes in his tough programme next week.

“The skill is something nature gives, you can improve it of course, but fitness and frequent actions of speed for instance need training sessions.”

Fri 12 Feb, 2016
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