Mar 23, 2011

Terry - Intimidating return

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The Chelsea skipper will lead his country out against Wales in Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier at the Millennium Stadium after being handed the armband for a second time by coach Fabio Capello.

Terry was stripped of the honour last year following allegations regarding his private life with Rio Ferdinand named as the new man to lead the Three Lions.

But with the Manchester United centre-back missing the World Cup through injury and spending more time on the sidelines this season, Capello has decided the time has come to forgive and forget.

His decision has not been accepted by all supporters, but Terry is confident he has the backing of his team-mates, although he admitted to nerves before heading out onto the training pitch and then facing the press.

"I had the worst night's sleep ever," revealed Terry, who knows he will be in the firing line if England slip up this weekend. I was pretty nervous, to be honest. Coming out today and having to deal with the questions and stuff like that was like the first day back at school.

"It is an intimidating thing, even though I have been in this position many times before. I am not daft. If we beat Wales on Saturday it will be a great stepping stone for us. If we don't get the right result, I know where the fingers will be pointing. I am not silly. I am a grown man and I am prepared to deal with that."

Terry insists he never considered rejecting the opportunity to lead his country again and has rejected claims that England are suffering from a fear factor.

Many of the Premier League's brightest stars appear to shrink on the international stage, most notably during last summer's miserable World Cup, but the centre-back believes he and his team-mates can cope with the expectation.

"No. Never," was the 30-year-old's response when asked whether he had given any though to turning Capello down.

"It is not a weak dressing room and I don't think there's fear," he added.

"People don't want to fail. We are playing at the very top and have the pressure of the whole country behind us. If that small doubt, that we could lose or disappoint people, creeps in it is not a nice feeling."

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