Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insists John Terry is motivated for Wednesday’s League Cup clash against Walsall as he confirmed Radamel Falcao would also start.
Terry has been on the outer, leading to suggestions of a rift – which has been denied – with Mourinho, while Falcao has been behind Diego Costa in the pecking order.
Both will line up at Walsall on Wednesday and the Portuguese manager said the duo were ready.
“Of course John’s experience will help,” Mourinho told the club’s website.
“He didn’t play the last match so he is completely fresh and completely motivated to play, the same as Falcao for example.
“Chelsea is Chelsea, and wearing the Chelsea shirt always brings responsibility. Every player is more than happy to play.”
The duo’s inclusion will be a huge boost in a competition in which most clubs offer youngsters an opportunity.
Mourinho said he wanted Chelsea, who are the defending champions, to be competitive.
“I don’t see reasons to throw away any competition. A cup is a cup. A trophy is a trophy. If you lose, you lose but you don’t need to throw it away,” he said.
“So yes, we look to the competition in a proper way, and I also think it’s very important to respect opponents. I don’t think opponents from the Championship, League One or League Two expect the big clubs to go and play against them without the best players.
“They want a big day for themselves. Imagine if we go to Walsall without any one of our most important players – even if they won I don’t think the feeling would be the same. For Walsall players and Walsall supporters it’s important the big teams show that respect and that commitment.
“In the FA Cup we lost against a League One club [Bradford], which can happen. Walsall are a good team. They are playing well and trying to be promoted. For them it’s a big occasion and as I was saying, it’s important to respect them and to go with a good team with the desire to win.”