Rodgers: Terry is not a racist

Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers insists John Terry is not a racist and has backed the Chelsea captain lead from the front at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday.

"Hey buddy..."

The 31-year-old has been charged with racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during October's Premier League meeting between the sides, a charge he strenuously denies. The first hearing in the case is scheduled to take place at Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has said the club are prepared to give the England skipper time off in the fight to clear his name, although he is expected to face Swansea after excelling in the FA Cup win over QPR at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Swansea boss Rodgers worked with Terry during his time as reserve and youth team manager at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2008, and spoke positively about the England captain's character.

Rodgers said: "He is a strong personality, John is a good man and from my time knowing him, and what he is being talked about in terms of the charges against him, I can safely say in my period of time working with him that he is not a racist, if that's what he's been pointed the finger as being.

"I have absolutely great confidence that is the case. He has been a wonderful leader for Chelsea and I have known him off the field as well and the number of players he helped evolve, dealing with ethnic minorities young and old, it was during the time I was there and I witnessed it, so I would say that is not the case with John.

"He is a public figure, he is the national captain and there have been a number of incidents that have drawn him to the publicity.

"But from my own experience he is a great man, off the field I had a terrific relationship with him through good and bad times, it wasn't always all smiles. I was able to speak my mind with him at times and tell him how I felt and I am sure he would say the same thing.

"I always found his communication open. He is a lover of football and he is happiest when he is on the field or with his family, and I have nothing but high praise for him as in that period when I was there he was a real icon for the football club on and off the field. I found him a terrific man.

"From my experience of knowing him quite well over that period of time I would say he is not a racist."

Rodgers believes Terry's performance against his own side will not be affected by the situation he finds himself in.

"He has the skin of a rhinoceros and he has proven that many times," Rodgers added.

"He has the case starting Wednesday but he will love nothing better to be out here playing tomorrow [Tuesday] night so I expect him to be involved.

"He is one you can hang your hat on, he will be 100% committed, he is a great leader."

Tuesday sees the close of the January transfer window, and Rodgers got most of his deals done early as Rory Donnelly, Darnel Situ, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Josh McEachran, who is unavailable for this fixture under the terms of his loan from Chelsea, were all added to his squad.

The Swans boss says he is still hopeful of adding "one or two" new faces to his squad before the window shuts, but denied reports linking him with moves for Matthew Bates, Adrian Mariappa and Nicky Maynard.

He said: "We made enquiries for a number of players early in the window and, like with many clubs, it has gone quiet, but then we have had feedback on one to two possibilities and we will see.

"There is still a lot of work to do if they are to become permanent signings, but we will see over the next 24 hours and take it from there.

"We have certainly made no bids as yet but we have been given an indication of what the price would be."



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