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Chelsea squad weaker than previous seasons - John Terry

John Terry
Terry's comments come with the January transfer window looming

Chelsea captain John Terry does not believe the club's squad is as strong as in previous campaigns.

The Blues have gone five league games without a win in a season when Terry, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien have each had spells out injured.

"In the past, we had a big squad and could rotate and put other players in," Terry, 30, told the Chelsea website.

"We don't have that now, we have quite a young squad and it's a time for us all to stay together like we will."

Centre-back Terry and midfielders Lampard and Essien are expected to play in Chelsea's next match against Arsenal on Monday and manager Carlo Ancelotti is adamant that the return of his star players will help keep the club's title defence on track.

"We had a problem because we had, at the same time, a lot of players injured," said the Italian, whose side have won just one of their last seven league games to slump from top to fourth.

"When you are not in a good moment, it's very difficult to put in the young players because you don't want to put responsibility on their shoulders.

5 Year Plan

"But now it's different. The squad is good, the players are in good condition, players without injury, and the squad is enough in this moment to play this game well - at our best."

Chelsea face Bolton two days after facing Arsenal and Ancelotti is annoyed with the way the fixtures have panned out for his side.

"I want to say something about the Bolton game because we won't have the possibility to recover," said Ancelotti.

"We'll have two days, compared to Bolton who, unfortunately, play on the 26th [at home to West Brom]. We play on the 27th.

"That's not a good thing, to have one day less to recover. I'm not happy about that."

Chelsea's recent poor run has left them trailing league leaders Manchester United by three points and they are a point behind Arsenal and Manchester City.

However, Ancelotti's side showed signs of improvement in their last outing as they drew 1-1 at Tottenham on 12 December and Terry is confident Chelsea can start to make up ground with continued progress.

"Once we've turned that corner, we can move on from there and wait for other teams to slip up, which they will do," he said.

This season has been marked by the top-flight's leading teams continually dropping points but Terry has cited last term's league title victory as evidence his side can still turn their season, which started so promisingly, back around.

"Recent form isn't something you can pinpoint, but we know it hasn't been good enough and we'll improve," he added.

"Teams go through bad spells throughout the season.

"Arsenal have dropped points at home, and we've done the same, games we should have won.

"Sunderland at home [losing 3-0] was a poor performance but I don't think, overall, too much has gone wrong; we've had some tough games.

"We dropped points against Everton last year, we lost at Tottenham last year and still came out champions."

Meanwhile, Ancelotti played down speculation linking Chelsea with a move for Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric.

"Modric is a good player but we are not interested," he said. "We have to have respect for Tottenham. He is a good player but nobody speaks of Modric here.

"If we need to have something we are able to do it but now there are four games in a few days.

"This period is very important for the Premier League. We have to be focused on this period. I don't need to talk about anything else."

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see also
Postponement no issue for Man Utd
20 Dec 10 |  Man Utd
Wilkins exit 'strange' - Malouda
13 Dec 10 |  Chelsea
Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea
12 Dec 10 |  Premier League

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