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Prospect of 'great night' stirs Terry's passions

John Terry says he and interim first-team coach Roberto Di Matteo are looking to use the "Chelsea in our blood" to produce "one of the great nights in our history" against SSC Napoli.

John Terry talks to the media at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday
John Terry talks to the media at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday ©Getty Images

Captain John Terry believes it would rank among the greatest European nights in Chelsea FC history should the Blues overhaul their 3-1 first-leg deficit against SSC Napoli on Tuesday.

Chelsea went ahead in the opening instalment of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie at the San Paolo Stadium three weeks ago but, without the injured Terry, were ultimately unable to cope with their hosts' attacking prowess. Their talismanic centre-back returned to action at the weekend after six weeks out with a knee injury and is ready to lead his side to a memorable evening at Stamford Bridge.

"If it all goes well it could go down as one of the great nights in Chelsea's history," he said. "What could be important for us is the start. A good start will get the fans ready and will also make us believe as well – it could be the key factor. If not, we also have the experience and patience to know it only takes a couple of minutes to score two goals.

"Over there in a hostile atmosphere they showed they are a very good footballing and attacking side. With that in mind we are very much aware of what they can bring to us, but we are hoping we have the squad and the experience to overcome that."

Terry's return is not the only change since that meeting in Naples, with manager André Villas-Boas having been shown the door ten days later following an indifferent run of results. Former assistant Roberto Di Matteo has masterminded successive victories since taking temporary charge and Terry thinks a comeback could prove to be a catalyst to further success this term.

"Obviously I'm not happy with the position we're in in the league [fifth], but we know we can still turn it around," he said. "There are a lot of games to play and if we manage to do it tomorrow night it could still be one of our best seasons ever."

The England defender also suggested that he and Di Matteo, himself a former Chelsea player and still a popular figure with the fans at Stamford Bridge, are the perfect men for the job in hand. "We have Chelsea in our blood and we realise what it means to the football club and the fans," he added. "What we are is Chelsea and what we represent is Chelsea. We give that fiery atmosphere in the dressing room and we try and take that onto the pitch and hopefully everyone feeds off that.

"All I can say is that as a group of players we're ready for tomorrow night and we're determined to give everything to make sure we stay in this competition. If we do it, it could go down as one of the best nights in Chelsea's history."

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