Terry encouraged by Chelsea youngsters
Chelsea captain John Terry has insisted the club's youngsters are beginning to make their mark on the first team. The England centre-back is likely to miss tomorrow's League Cup game against Newcastle United with a rib injury, which will allow 18-year-old Jeffrey Bruma to start alongside Alex or Branislav Ivanovic at Stamford Bridge.
In recent weeks, Chelsea have blooded a number of their emerging players and Gael Kakuta, Bruma, Patrick van Aanholt and Daniel Sturridge will all likely get another chance to further their first-team ambitions against the Magpies. And the move towards incorporating the youngsters into the first team meets with the full approval of Terry.
"We have a great squad of players mixed with some very good young players who are making their mark on the team," the 29-year-old said. "These opportunities are not only great for them but also for our youth system, and credit goes to everyone working hard in the academy. The manager has spoken about the importance of strength in our squad this season, and competition for places is always a good thing."
Chelsea are currently four points clear at the top of the Premier League, having scored 21 goals and conceded just one during five successive victories, and Terry wants to see their fine start continue, especially with tough tests against Manchester City and Arsenal coming up.
"We've started well, we're passing the ball with confidence at the moment and getting at teams in behind when we can," he said. "But the important thing is we don't stop doing these things because while a good start is obviously important, it is going to come down to consistency at some point, and we know all about that from experience here."
Turnbull set to face boyhood idols
Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull is looking forward to playing against the team he supported as a boy tomorrow night. Chelsea are likely to rest Petr Cech to allow the 25-year-old his first start of the season for the Blues.
Turnbull grew up in Durham and was a huge Newcastle fan before turning professional with local rivals Middlesbrough. "A lot of my family were supporters too and we had season tickets when we were younger, so I'll be looking forward to the game," he said.
"Everyone likes to play against their boyhood team, so I'm looking forward to it. They seem to have done fine since they've been back up in the Premier League. I look for their results but my interest doesn't go much further than that anymore, and I'm sure they will have a good season.
"Everyone wants to play football and it's a good chance for me to play well. I'm not sure what the manager plans to do with the Carling Cup side. Last year Petr was rested but whether that continues I don't know, it is his decision and I'll go along with it, but from a personal point of view I'd obviously like to continue if we get through."