No sentiment will be shown towards Terry – Conte

Antonio Conte says he would gladly sign up now for John Terry captaining Chelsea to FA Cup glory – but insists he will never be blinded by sentiment in deciding whether to play him.

Terry’s outings have been largely confined to the cup this season, with boss Conte omitting him from his preferred starting line-up in the Premier League.

Yet his assured performance at Wolves in Saturday’s fifth-round tie took Chelsea closer to a possible Wembley swansong for Terry in what could be his final appearance for the club.

But Conte said: “I want to be very clear that if a player deserves to play, I’m pleased to give the opportunity, but not because there is sentiment.

“John Terry deserved to play [at Wolves] and he played very well and I’m very happy for him, because for me is a very important player. He is my captain and he is important on and off the pitch.

“He’s helping me a lot and I’m very pleased to have him in my squad – and also to know this type of person.

“I’d sign for this now [Terry lifting the cup], but don’t forget that our target is to win and not to try to make all the players happy. It is important always to find the best solution.

“If you see our path in the FA Cup, the first game I made nine changes. In the second game nine changes and this time I made seven changes, but tried to make the best decision to win the game.”

Conte also reiterated that Terry’s future will not be discussed for the time being.

“For us it’s important – very important – to be focused on the present, because now we stay in a good position; top of the table and in the quarter-final of the FA Cup,” Conte said.

“The most important thing now is the present – to work and to build a good future. Then we’ll see the situation of every single player. We need to keep the right concentration.”