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Terry must accept reduced role, says Benitez

14 April 2013 11:08

Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez has warned captain John Terry he must get used to life on the bench.

The 32-year-old, who has just over a year remaining on his contract, has endured a similar fate to that of team-mate Frank Lampard since the Spaniard controversially succeeded Roberto Di Matteo earlier this season.

The Chelsea stalwarts have been the highest-profile victims of Benitez's rotation policy and, after both appeared in Thursday's Europa League quarter-final second-leg defeat against Rubin Kazan in Moscow, are unlikely to start against Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

Terry has skippered the club to four FA Cup triumphs, but Benitez told reporters: "With his age, he has more experience and his understanding of the game will be better but you have people coming that will be faster and they will be stronger.

"Still he has a lot of ability and he can do well but it will not be two games a week, carrying on playing, because you have more competition (in the squad).

"His age is fine. It's not a bad age, but you have someone coming with 25 and the other with 28 and they are pushing and pushing, so you have to compete.

"And this is the main thing – if you play two games a week it's not easy to keep at the level in a normal team, fine, but in a top side where you have to win every game, it's not easy.

"The problem with John is when we came here he was injured and it took too long to find a solution — not because we didn't know, as the doctor here is really good — but it was taking time and afterwards everyone was expecting him to play.

"But you have good competition here, you have good players. At this time Gary Cahill was doing really well, Branislav Ivanovic was doing well, David Luiz is doing well, too.

"So he has to accept, everyone has to accept, that we have a good squad and, when we have a good squad, you have to compete.

"It's part of the game if you're in a top side when you play so many games."

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