Ancelotti praises skipper Terry

LONDON - Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti said it never crossed his mind to leave his skipper John Terry out of the team to play Burnley on Saturday despite newspapers publishing revelations about his private life.

The England captain, married with two young children, was named on Friday as the player behind a gagging injunction to stop the publication of the stories following a High Court hearing in London.

After the order was lifted newspapers published pages of details about his alleged relationship with a "famous" woman.

Terry, booed every time he touched the ball by the home fans during Saturday's Premier League match, forgot his troubles to head the winner eight minutes from time in a 2-1 victory.

Asked after the match if he had any thoughts about leaving Terry out of the side because of the publicity, Ancelotti told reporters: "No, never, never."

"It was a good moment for Terry on the pitch. But he also played well (in the 3-0 win) against Birmingham in midweek.

"I did not speak with him. It wasn't necessary because he did well in training yesterday. It was not in my mind he wouldn't play.

"I do not want to talk about his personal life. He is doing his job very well, every day, every training session. For this I am not worried.

"All the club, the players, management and staff are supporting him and his family at this time."


Victory moved Chelsea four points clear of their closest rivals Manchester United, and midfielder Frank Lampard said it was vital his team won.

They also did better at Turf Moor than Manchester United, who lost there in August, and Arsenal, who drew at Burnley in December, despite a largely subdued display on Saturday.

"Its a difficult place to come on a cold night, but we did pretty well and deserved to win the game - we created quite a few chances," said Lampard.

"Burnley are a tough team to play against but at this stage of the season with the big game coming up tomorrow it was important we won and we did it."

Burnley manager Brian Laws, who took over from Owen Coyle as manager on January 13 only for his new side to lose all their four games since then, could not hide his disappointment.

He told ESPN: "We got back into the game after showing too much respect to Chelsea in the first half, but I thought in the second half we were terrific.

"The disappointing thing is you give them half a chance and they score. I was disappointed not to get a point."

The defeat stretched Burnley's run without a win to 12 league matches and after a bright start to their first season in the top flight since 1976, they remain in the relegation zone.

Nicolas Anelka had put Chelsea ahead after 27 minutes and Steven Fletcher equalised early in the second half before Terry pounced to score the winner.