Terry: Chelsea against the world
John Terry has claimed Chelsea's latest controversial UEFA Champions League defeat proves the world is against them winning the European title.
The Blues went down 1-0 at home to Manchester United in their quarter-final first leg last night after being denied what appeared a stoppage-time penalty at Stamford Bridge. The decision was the latest in a long line of calls to have gone against Chelsea during their - as yet - unsuccessful seven-year quest to win the Champions League since Roman Abramovich bought the club.
And it has convinced captain Terry there is something more than footballing ability which is conspiring against them realising their dream. "I was saying to the lads afterwards that it's us versus everyone," Terry said.
"I think that's clear to see over the last few years. Only we can change that on the football field and expect nothing from anyone. Nothing gets given to you on a plate and it certainly won't be in this competition."
Terry bit his tongue when it came to expanding on his concerns, fearing the consequences of saying too much. That also applied to his take on last night's penalty incident.
He said: "We can't come out here and speak honestly and it's a little bit frustrating. Because we can't speak honestly, you guys (the media) lose out, everyone's walking on eggshells, fearing a ban before the next game. It's not the first time it's happened but anywhere else in the world - Old Trafford, the Nou Camp, the Bernabeu - that's a penalty."
United have never lost a European tie after winning the first leg away from home but England captain Terry was adamant Chelsea could produce a comeback on Tuesday night. "I can 100 per cent see us turning the tie around," said the defender, who admitted his side failed to perform last night but pointed out they won 2-1 at Old Trafford in the Premier League last season.
"We expected a better performance considering we were at home but we've got the quality to go up there and win the game. We did it in the league last year. They know we're still in it and we certainly do as well."
Ancelotti, Torres support
Should they fail, it would end Chelsea's last realistic hope of silverware this season and cast more doubt than ever on the future of manager Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian was appointed two years ago largely because he was proven to be a Champions League specialist, but failure to reach the semi-finals for the second successive season would suggest the Blues have gone backwards in the competition.
But Terry said: "There's been no talk about changing him as far as I'm aware. The players are 100 per cent behind him."
That also applies to Fernando Torres, whose now-infamous goal drought continued last night. Terry admitted the Spaniard might be weighed down by his record-breaking £50 million price tag but backed him to come good. "The players are seeing in training it's just a case of getting that first goal, getting that off your shoulders, and then you can move on," he said.
"It must be hard as well people carrying on talking about it. It must be a big weight to carry as well with the fee that he came for. But he knows he's good enough to play, the players certainly know he's good enough, and he's got our full support."
He added: "Maybe we need to get a few more crosses in the box as well. So it's not only him. We need to look at the collective side of things."
Vice-captain Frank Lampard urged his team-mates to unleash their burning sense of injustice over their latest setback at Old Trafford next week. Midfielder Lampard, who will not have happy memories of what was his 500th Chelsea appearance, does not want the Blues to feel sorry for themselves in the build-up to Tuesday.
"We can't really think like that too much because it's negative thoughts," he said. "We just use it to motivate us, really."