Wales v England

Terry: Captaincy has not caused rift

March 22, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

John Terry feels he has learned from the mistakes of the past and claims there are no problems within the England squad over his re-appointment as captain.

John Terry England training
GettyImagesJohn Terry could be in for a hot reception at Wembley

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Manager Fabio Capello, who stripped Terry of the armband just over a year ago after problems off the field, has taken the contentious decision to ditch injured successor Rio Ferdinand and return the captaincy to the Chelsea defender.

There have been reports that the decision has caused a rupture in the camp, but Terry claims the players have been offered the chance to voice their concerns and there were no problems.

"The manager pulled everyone together to say I was captain and asked if there were any problems and nothing was said," Terry said. "If anyone had any problems I would respect them if they came to me."

An allegation of an affair with Wayne Bridge's former girlfriend was the catalyst to Terry's downfall as captain last season and he claims to have learned plenty from the past.

"I am very much wiser as well," he said. "I have concentrated on and off the field. I have am fully fit as well and looking forward to staying fit and playing well."

"I am delighted to get the armband back. When I did not have the armband my passion and drive was still there and that would never change. But on a personal note I am delighted and looking forward to leading the team out.

"I know what is asked of me on and off the pitch. Maybe the manager has looked into that as well. I have kept my head down on and off the pith and concentrated on playing well for club and country and have done that for the last year.

"I am not going to be everyone's cup of tea, as I have read and seen, but it is a decision the manager has taken. I had to respect that when he took it away from me and I did that. I think he has looked at that."

Terry also confirmed that Ferdinand contacted him to wish him well with the captaincy ahead of England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales on Saturday.

"Rio called me which was a very nice touch and goes to show what a great man Rio is,'' Terry said. "We had a 10-minute conversation and he wished me well. He cares about England and said the most important thing was to keep winning.

'He was naturally disappointed, but said the most important thing was to keep winning.''

He added: 'I feel for Rio. Even though I've got the armband back, I can see myself we've got leaders in dressing room. The guys have still got a massive input in and around the dressing room.''

Terry insisted he was ready to deal with the pressure that would come with his re-appointment, and claimed his passion for playing for his country never left him even when he lost the armband.

On Saturday's opponents, the 30-year-old continued: "I think we can expect a very tough game and we must make sure we match them in every department.

"Our players have played at the Millennium Stadium, which will naturally help - but they have a great spine in the side with James Collins, Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy. They can pose a real threat.

"For me the most important thing is to top the group and make sure we are there (at Euro 2012). I would love to lead the team into that tournament.''

Just over a year ago Bellamy was a team-mate of Bridge when Manchester City won at Chelsea in the Premier League - and the striker was none too complimentary about Terry in a post-match interview.

However, Terry said: "He is a player I have a lot of respect for in the game - maybe sometimes he's been misrepresented in certain ways... he wants to win, be it at Manchester City or Cardiff.

"But we must win. Wales have had a bad start, conceding a lot of goals and not scoring too many - but they pose a real threat individually. They've got a good young squad.''