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Chelsea's Rafael Benitez hails John Terry's "character"

Benitez hails Terry's
© PA Photos
Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez says that he could start John Terry against Arsenal for his leadership qualities.

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has hinted that he could include captain John Terry in his starting lineup against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The central defender, who has recently recovered from a knee injury, has not started for the Blues since their 1-1 draw with Liverpool last November.

"We are working very hard with John and we'll see how he feels," Benítez told reporters. "He's been training with the team, with his specific programme, and has been fine.

"We'll have another session and then we'll decide. If I asked him, he would say he wanted to play. I prefer not to ask and decide myself.

"But it's important to have players with character on the pitch, particularly if you want to manage a game like the other day. We have some good players. Some of them show more 'character'. Others show different qualities."

Benitez added that Terry's inclusion from the start will have a "positive influence" on the team.

"We have a group of players with quality and sometimes we still miss these things, but [Terry] is one of the strong characters we have and to have bodies and people with this mentality can help," said the Spaniard.

"Hopefully he will be fine and we will be able to see his positive influence for the rest of the season in the team."

Chelsea will head into the game third in the Premier League table.

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Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez on the touchline against Southampton on January 16, 2013
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