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Terry looks to Wise and Desailly in racism row

John Terry will seek to draw on lessons learned under former Chelsea captains Marcel Desailly and Dennis Wise when he leads England against Sweden in a friendly at Wembley today.

sports Updated: Nov 15, 2011 08:41 IST

John Terry will seek to draw on lessons learned under former Chelsea captains Marcel Desailly and Dennis Wise when he leads England against Sweden in a friendly at Wembley on Tuesday.

Terry's career has been littered with controversies but allegations he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, younger brother of his longtime England colleague Rio, are some of the most serious the Chelsea stalwart has ever faced.

They are now the subject of both Football Association and police inquiries, and although Terry has strongly denied the accusations, he was prevented from discussing them by FA officials at the England team's hotel here on Monday.

He was though still keen to "front up" and justify the continuing faith of England manager Fabio Capello, who has repeatedly insisted his decision to rest the centre-half from last weekend's 1-0 win friendly win over world champions Spain was in no way related to the racism allegations.

"The easy thing to do would have been to step away from it," said Terry.

"But I am here, fronting it up and dealing with it today.

"Unfortunately I can't speak -- we all understand that with the police and the FA, I can't speak about things.

"But I'm here and I'm very proud to be England captain. I'm not someone to hide away."

There's no denying the England captaincy means plenty to Terry, who has regained the post from Rio Ferdinand having lost it for the 2010 World Cup following allegations he had an affair with the former fiancee of ex-Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge.

Now Terry is looking to the example of two Chelsea mentors in France great Desailly and England firebrand Wise, who were certainly strong characters in their own right, to help him through his latest off-field controversy.

"It's just the way they were in and around the dressing room that impressed me," said Terry.

"They were two big characters -- Wisey more so on the pitch and Marcel with how he dealt with things in the dressing room. He never took any crap, basically, and made sure everyone was on it."

The comparisons with Wise, no stranger to off-field controversy, are apt and Terry took notice of how the combative midfielder coped.

"He had little bits throughout his career but regardless of what happened, on the training pitch he was always the best; always at the front of the running, making sure he pulled people up with him, getting people up alongside him from the middle of the pack," Terry said.

"Seeing that as a young boy growing up was really good.

"I look back at Wisey and Marcel and they made sure they were on it every single day and they made sure everyone was on it with them. I feel as though I've learned from them."

Meanwhile Terry insisted he had received plenty of support from throughout the global football community since the racism allegations became public.

"I don't want to talk about people individually," he said when asked if former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had been in contact.

"But from across the world people and players and managers have been on the phone and been very supportive of me."

Terry will start against Sweden in one of at least eight changes set to be made by Capello.

Fulham striker Bobby Zamora, Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker, Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell and Bolton defender Gary Cahill have also all been included by England's Italian boss.

First Published: Nov 15, 2011 08:39 IST