Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has warned John Terry his status as captain does not guarantee him a place in the starting XI.
The 35-year-old made his first appearance in over six weeks when the Blues suffered a 2-1 EFL Cup defeat to West Ham on Wednesday, the veteran defender having recovered from an ankle problem.
Terry had been an unused substitute for Chelsea’s previous two matches and is expected to be back on the bench when Conte’s men travel to play Southampton on Sunday, with the Italian not giving the long-serving centre-back any special treatment.
“My decisions are only for the best for the team, for the club and to win,” Conte told reporters.
“If one player is captain or vice-captain, it’s not important.
“It’s important to find the right solution to take the best decision for the team, in this moment. Yes, I can make a mistake, but I always try to make the best decision.
“We win together and we lose together in every circumstance. I have always to take the best decision for the team, never for an individual player.
“It’s logical that John came back from injury and it’s not easy to restart and to find quickly the right shape. I’m satisfied [with] him and the team.
“John is an important player for us – if he plays or if he doesn’t play – for the changing room, for his team-mates, for the club.”