Terry may get time off in racism case

Chelsea are prepared to give John Terry time off in his fight to clear his name over allegations of racist abuse, manager Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed.

Football News: John Terry, Chelsea

Blues and England captain Terry has continued to play for both club and country since it was first alleged that he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during October's Barclays Premier League game at Loftus Road.

Terry has faced jeers and taunts since then, never more so than during his return to Rangers in yesterday's FA Cup fourth-round tie, four days before his court case was due to begin at Westminster Magistrates Court.

Terry denies racially abusing Ferdinand, and should a magistrates trial take place during the season, his manager Villas-Boas will consider allowing Terry to take time off.

He said: "Eventually, if it is important for the justice, we will do it."

But Villas-Boas insisted he would continue to play his captain as long as he continues to display the kind of form he showed on Saturday, with the defender not putting a foot wrong in Chelsea's 1-0 win.

"You have seen with the off-field events, we haven't stopped using John, and his level of performance has not been affected," he said.

"If that continues to be the case, we will continue to do it."

QPR fans were merciless in their abuse of Terry but he wisely chose not to react.

Villas-Boas said: "He is a player that has been through various situations, situations of stress and great, difficult atmospheres.

"Bearing in mind the events that have happened in the past, he showed that this was just another game for him and he was just interested in football. He had an extremely good performance."

It also transpired that the pre-match handshakes between the players was cancelled after some of QPR's players revealed they were prepared to snub Terry en masse.

With the start of the defender's trial weeks or even months away, that raised the prospect of the same happening again when the sides meet in the league at the end of April.

The Premier League has confirmed both clubs would need to seek their permission to cancel the handshake.

Saturday also saw Chelsea keep a clean sheet for a third game in succession, something they would have taken for granted in years gone by but had not previously managed under Villas-Boas.

The Portuguese rejected suggestions it had taken longer than he had predicted for his players to absorb his ideas, insisting they had done so at the start of the season, jokingly crediting predecessor Carlo Ancelotti for that.

"So you would say that ideas were either quickly assimilated or the last manager still left his ideas," said the man who left Porto for Stamford Bridge last summer.

"I got it last year the same - we started winning so much and it was not me, it was the ideas of the old manager, the same."

Villas-Boas denied Chelsea had gone "back to basics" in 2012.

He added: "We got more solid, more confident on what we were doing.

"At the moment, we are conceding less but we continue to attack a lot.

"What has been our problem is finding that efficiency in front of goal to score more often to give us more comfortable leads."

Chelsea return to league action on Tuesday when they travel to Swansea looking to cut the gap to third-placed Tottenham.

Villas-Boas has ruled his side out of the title race but was confident they were fully motivated to finish the season strongly in the league, FA Cup and Champions League.

"I think our motivation must be playing game to game and ensuring Champions League (qualification), which is the minimum objective you can get," said Villas-Boas, who will be without Brazil midfielder Ramires for three to four weeks after scans today confirmed his medial ligament injury.

"We are not running away from our responsibilities. If you end up with no titles then it is a failure."



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