Villas-Boas: Terry OK to play in QPR showdown

CHELSEA boss Andre Villas-Boas insists he has no qualms about fielding captain John Terry in next week’s powderkeg FA Cup tie with QPR.

The Blues return to Loftus Road on Saturday week, four days before Terry is due in court over claims he racially abused Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in October.

But, asked whether he would consider leaving him out of the potentially combustible fixture, Villas-Boas said: “Not at all. If he is available he will have to compete with the other three [centre-backs] and we’ll make the right decision.”

Terry will appear in a west London court on 1 February charged with a racially aggravated public order offence, following the alleged incident in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at QPR on 23 October. If found guilty he faces a maximum fine of £2,500, as well as potential repercussions over his role as England captain. The 31-year-old has repeatedly denied the accusation and vowed to fight it “tooth and nail”.

Terry would be expected to start if Villas-Boas selects a full-strength team, as he did in the win over Portsmouth in the third round.

Chelsea had two men sent off when the sides clashed three months ago, and the Blues manager called on media not to overplay Terry’s rematch with Ferdinand, for which extra police will be deployed. He added: “If you want to finish, avoid speculating about it, about the return to QPR, a repetition of the images. We can play our part, but so can the media.”