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Page last updated at 20:19 GMT, Monday, 21 April 2008 21:19 UK

Players are backing Grant - Terry

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL FIRST LEG
Date:
Tue 22 April Kick-off: 1945 BST Venue: Anfield
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live and on BBC Sport website (UK only), full text coverage on BBC Sport website and mobiles, live on ITV1

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News conference: Chelsea boss Avram Grant

Skipper John Terry insists Chelsea's players are 100% behind manager Avram Grant as they prepare for a crucial few days that will define their season.

The Blues play Liverpool on Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at Anfield, before a Premier League showdown with Manchester United.

Terry claimed reports of player unrest at the club were wide of the mark.

"These suggestions are laughable - we speak openly and things are sorted out there and then," he said.

"We are totally behind the manager. There are no people walking out the door and talking behind each other's backs.

"It is bizarre because since Avram took over, one thing we've done is that if any players are unhappy or have a problem, we get together and speak our minds."

We are coming here to score goals and put the pressure right on Liverpool

John Terry

Despite his team reaching the Champions League final four and lying a close second in the Premier League behind Man Utd, Grant remains unpopular with sections of Chelsea's support.

But if he can guide Chelsea to triumph at the third time of asking in a Champions League semi-final against Liverpool, the Israeli may yet win those fans over.

Terry pledged Chelsea will go to Anfield looking to attack.

"We are coming here to win the game, not to shut up shop - we want to score goals and put the pressure right on Liverpool.

"It's going to be tough for us, but the away goals we can possibly take back to the Bridge will help us in the long run.

"We have shown great character and togetherness. We have got the players to go on and win the game and progress to the next stage.

Frank Lampard and Avram Grant
Grant has Lampard (left) available to play against Liverpool

"We have lost to Liverpool on the two previous occasions and that burning feeling is something that will never go away, but one thing that will ease it is to go on and reach the final and lift the trophy.

"That trophy is something I want to get my hands on as Chelsea captain and for the club to go down in history."

Terry admitted: "We've had our ups and downs over the course of the season.

"But we have proved that whatever team is on the pitch, we have enough strength, character and big players to go on and win."

Grant is refusing to dwell on Chelsea's past Champions League defeats against Liverpool.

"We can make history and we will concentrate on this and not about anything else," he said.

"We lost here twice but that is history, and now we can create it. That is what is important.

"We have come a long way since we drew against Rosenborg and now we can create history - and this makes me excited."

Chelsea have also been boosted by the news that Frank Lampard will return to the squad.

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The 29-year-old has missed his side's last game to be with his mother who is suffering from pneumonia, and Grant was full of praise for the England midfielder.

"I respect very much Frank and what he is doing for the club," said Grant.

"It is not an easy situation. He has given everything for the club and trained by himself.

"I gave him all the freedom to do as he wanted. Sometimes there are more important things than football, but he is available to play."


see also
Liverpool v Chelsea
21 Apr 08 |  Europe
Alan Hansen's column
21 Apr 08 |  Europe
Zenden on Champions League
21 Apr 08 |  Europe


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