Guus Hiddink is set to recommend a new contract for Chelsea captain John Terry.
Terry’s deal ends in the summer but he may get a 12-month extension, especially if Stamford Bridge interim boss Hiddink adds his voice to the debate.
He scored both for and against his team in the 3-3 draw against Everton and believes he can continue playing next season.
Based on current form, Hiddink will be only too happy to endorse Terry’s case as he believes there is no difference to the player he managed in 2009.
‘John showed his importance against Everton, not just with his equalising goal, but with his attitude and the actions he did defensively and offensively,’ said the Dutchman.
‘If I’m asked I will give my honest opinion about his contract.
‘For me there’s not much difference between John in 2009 and now. You would have to underline that with data. You have to make tests that show he has lost some speed, but with the eye I cannot see that.
‘He’s fit, he trains well and takes care of himself, which you have to do at that age. I cannot see that he is slowing down.’
Terry, 35, made his senior debut for Chelsea in October 1998 but is not planning to retire. He said: ‘I certainly think I can keep playing. When you get to an age, there are a lot of people out there saying, ‘He’s 35, almost 36, maybe his legs have gone’.
‘I’ve never had legs, it’s as simple as that. I’ve never been quick, but everyone gets it in their heads.
‘Physically I’m feeling as good as I’ve ever felt. I’m still hungry. The most important thing is getting us up that league table.’
Terry’s equaliser was shown to be offside as well as in the eighth minute of injury time but the defender revealed referee Mike Jones had told him he would be adding on the minutes because of the way Everton celebrated Ramiro Funes Mori’s goal.
Terry knew Chelsea would be given additional time to find an equaliser after Everton thought they had sealed a first Premier League win at Stamford Bridge in 21 years.
‘I was thinking maybe four, five minutes,’ Terry told Chelsea TV. ‘Then the ref jogged past me and said, ‘You’ve got seven and a bit (minutes) there, they’ve just over-egged their celebrations’.’
Everton defender Leighton Baines refused to point the finger at the official. He said: ‘We’ve only got ourselves to blame for not managing the game. We went in front again and threw it away.
‘Walking back I spoke to him (the referee) and he started speaking about timings. I hadn’t asked him about that and I thought it showed he thought he’d got something wrong.’