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Chelsea skipper Terry defends Grant selection

Chelsea captain John Terry has supported coach Avram Grant's team selection for Sunday's Carling Cup final defeat to Tottenham.

Terry's place in the starting line-up, along with that of his England team-mate Frank Lampard, had been under scrutiny ever since the pair were omitted from Grant's side for the Champions League clash with Olympiacos five days earlier.

But Terry insists their preparations for the final were not hampered by the speculation surrounding their places in the team.

He said: "The manager keeps it all very close to his chest. None of us knew until Sunday, and that is how it has been in every game.

"So there was no change or excuse. That is the way it has got to be. It keeps everyone on their toes - and as a group of players, we have to deal with it.

"I am gutted, and the lads are gutted inside. I just can't believe how we've played. They started a lot brighter than us, but at 1-0 up we looked in control. But then things were spoiled.

"After they started well, I thought we soaked up a lot of their pressure. We didn't really keep the ball as well as we can do - and overall we were not at the races.

"That is the most disappointing thing - going to some tough places to get here and blowing it on the day. It is not a good feeling believe me. It was very disappointing. "

Terry makes no secret of how badly Chelsea wanted to win.

"You hear people say the Carling Cup doesn't mean anything - but you try telling that to the players in our dressing room," he added.

"You can tell by their faces what it means to them. Every year we put a strong side out.

"But we were not good enough overall. As a team, as individuals and collectively we were just not good enough . It is hard to say, but Tottenham deserved it. "

About the author

Tribal Football Staff

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