'I'm so happy he's back' - Di Matteo hails Terry's return from ban

The Blues manager is delighted to have the former England defender back in the first-team fold and urges all parties to move on from the racism saga surrounding his skipper
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has hailed John Terry as a "fantastic" player and is delighted to have his captain available for selection again.

Terry has sat out Chelsea’s last four domestic games following a Football Association charge for racially abusing against Anton Ferdinand last year.

However, now that the former England center back has completed his suspension, Blues boss Di Matteo is delighted to have the 31-year-old back in action.

"He is a fantastic player," Di Matteo told reporters. "He’s a great player for us, a great defender. He brings a lot of quality to the team and I’m very pleased his ban is over now and we can fully have him available for the future and for the rest of the season.

"He’ll be a big asset for us, I’m so happy he’s back, on the pitch, off the pitch, and also if we can focus on the football now with him and the team I think that’s going to help everybody."

Although Chelsea has been criticized for its defensive displays in Terry’s absence, Di Matteo was keen to stress that the likes of Gary Cahill and David Luiz are more than capable of deputizing for the club captain.

He said: "I think they [Luiz and Cahill] have had some good games as well, against Newcastle they had a clean sheet.

"It’s not just the defenders, I want to emphasize that, it’s not just the defenders – it’s a team responsibility to defend."

Di Matteo also admitted his relief that the saga surrounding is now over, stating his happiness to move on from the affair and concentrate on matters on the pitch.

"I think everybody does [feel relief], we can focus on the football and try to achieve thing on the football pitch."

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