Terry given time off

Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins has confirmed John Terry will be allowed to miss Saturday's FA Cup fifth round tie against Cardiff.

Terry was stripped of his England captaincy last week following allegations that he had an affair with the ex-girlfriend of international team-mate and former Chelsea colleague Wayne Bridge. According to newspaper reports, Blues skipper Terry wants the time off to join his wife, Toni, in Dubai this weekend in a bid to save his marriage.

Since the story became public property, Chelsea captain Terry has responded with a series of fine displays for the Blues but his standards slipped at Goodison Park on Wednesday as his team suffered their fourth league defeat of the season. Terry will now miss this weekend's tie before returning to prepare for the league game at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 20 February.

Meanwhile Wilkins said Saha deserved praise for the way he made life tough for Terry. "You have got to give Louis Saha credit - he is a very tough opponent to play against," said Wilkins, who appeared at the post-match press conference in place of Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has been rock-solid in his backing of club skipper Terry since the scandal broke.

"John got caught under the ball for the second goal, thinking Louis was probably going to go over the top of him to win it. But John has been outstanding for us all season. If it was down to his mistakes it was the slightest of blips," Wilkins, himself a former Chelsea captain, added.

"He won't play against Cardiff in the Cup. Carlo has given him time off and he will come back and prepare for the Wolves game. They have just had a little chat, John and Carlo, and decided that would be best for all concerned."