Photo: Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte today insisted Chelsea captain John Terry is an important figure in the club whether he plays or not.

Terry, 36, is currently sidelined with a muscle injury and he has made just seven appearances for Chelsea this season due to the form of Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz.

Conte admits Terry is an influential figure in Chelsea’s dressing room because Terry helps send the right message to the players.

Conte said: “John is our captain and I think he’s doing a great job when he played. Now that he’s not playing, he’s helping me a lot in the changing room, to send the right message to the players. This is fantastic.

“In this period I’m pleased a lot to know the man and not only the player. I think, I repeat, he’s a really important player for us. If he plays or if he doesn’t play, he remains our captain.

“It’s important for him to send out the right message in the changing room, to send the right spirit of this club.

“For me, I hope to have him available to play, but also in this moment it’s important to have him in this role.

“He’s injured, but he’s helping us in these games, in every game… He comes with us, home and away, staying with us, transferring the right message. It’s very positive, very positive.”

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