Football

Conte: Terry didn't deserve red card

Chelsea may appeal skipper's sending-off

Antonio Conte says Chelsea are contemplating an appeal against John Terry's dismissal in the 4-1 FA Cup third-round win over Peterborough yesterday morning (Singapore time).

A routine victory over League One opposition was complicated by Terry's sending-off and Conte believes referee Kevin Friend made the wrong decision.

Terry, making his first start since the League Cup exit at West Ham in October and first appearance since November, was adjudged to be last man when he fouled Lee Angol and was shown a straight red card by Friend.

He faces a one-match ban.

"It wasn't right, this decision from the referee," Conte said.

"He didn't take the opponent and also behind John, there was Branislav Ivanovic to cover him.

"You have to respect the referee's decision but, in this case, maybe we will appeal. The situation is very clear and John didn't deserve this. It's a pity when this happens, because the red card is not good."

Terry's time at Stamford Bridge could be nearing an end. He turned 36 last month and his contract expires in the summer.

Last January, Terry disclosed that he had not been offered a new deal and that he would be leaving that summer.

He was later offered one and then, after a period of deliberation, signed a 12-month extension last May, concluding an issue which had shrouded the second half of last season for the Blues.

Conte insisted that Terry's future will be decided by the club and was adamant he was happy with the club captain, who made his first-team debut more than 18 years ago.

"I'm pleased for John, because he's showing me great commitment whether he plays or doesn't," Conte said.

"He's helping me a lot in the changing room. He's showing me to be a good player but, above all, a good man."

On Sunday, Conte recalled Nathan Ake from his loan spell at Bournemouth. The Dutchman provides additional competition for Terry as he can play in central defence or as a left wingback.

"Ake gives me important options," the Italian manager said.

Conte remained coy on transfers, with the winter window open, and declined to address speculation of a move for Swansea striker Fernando Llorente, with Michy Batshuayi reportedly going in the opposite direction temporarily.

Conte made nine changes to the team that began last Wednesday's loss at Tottenham, which saw the Blues' 13-game winning run in the league come to a halt.

Chelsea took a 3-0 lead before Terry's dismissal, with Batshuayi netting between strikes from Pedro Rodriguez and Willian. It was the Belgian's first goal since August.

"Now it's important for him to continue this and to give me the chance to have another solution in our squad," Conte said.

League One Peterborough claimed a consolation when Tom Nichols pulled a goal back, but Pedro struck his second to complete the victory.

Peterborough boss Grant McCann said: "We could've come here and defended deeper and tried to frustrate them.

"But I thought we may as well come here and give it a go. I don't think we came here and disgraced ourselves." - PA SPORT

FA CupCHELSEA (EPL)Antonio Conte