John Terry has stressed his Chelsea teammates cannot "get too down" when left out of the starting lineup as the club approach a crucial end to the Premier League season.
With the race for Champions League qualification likely to go down to the wire, the Blues' win over Fulham on Wednesday saw them leapfrog Arsenal into third position and move three points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham.
Terry started his first Premier League game since the 2-1 loss to Southampton in March as interim boss Rafa Benitez continued to shuffle his pack, and the club captain urged his colleagues to keep the unity even if they are not called upon.
"It is very important we stay focused and do not get too down about not playing games," Terry told Sky Sports. "Obviously that [in the team] is where we all want to be, but, at the same time, we appreciate there are a lot of games coming up."
The veteran defender has himself been on the fringes this season with the likes of David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic all being favored by Benitez, but Terry netted twice at Craven Cottage to put a fiesty Fulham side to bed.
The defender insisted he will keep working hard to impress the boss, but will also always accept the Spaniard's decision should he be left out.
"All I can do, if I am not first or second choice, is obviously take my opportunities like tonight and try and impress the manager on a daily basis," Terry said. "If he decides to go with the other two [players], then so be it. It is down to me to work hard and get back in this very good team."
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation
- Rafa Benitez