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12th May 2018

John Terry will go back on his word if Aston Villa are promoted

Simon Lloyd

Aston Villa are hoping to make a return to the Premier League, two years on from being relegated from the top flight.

Villa face Middlesbrough in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final on Saturday afternoon having finished fourth in the table.

In his first season with the club John Terry has more than played his part in Villa reaching the play-offs, making 33 appearances for Steve Bruce’s side since leaving Chelsea last summer – all but one of them in the league.

Before his arrival in Birmingham, the former England captain had spent his entire career at Stamford Bridge – apart from a short spell spent on loan at Nottingham Forest as a youngster. His loyalty to Chelsea, he explained, was part of his reason for dropping to the Championship, despite having other offers to play for Premier League clubs.

“I didn’t want to play in the Prem,” he said after becoming a Villa player. “That was a big thing for me, I didn’t want to play against Chelsea.”

Given that Villa are now three games away from returning to the Premier League, Terry stance on not wanting to face his former club appears to have softened over the last few months.

In an interview given to the club’s official website, the 37-year-old confirmed that if the club were to go up he intended to stick around, meaning he would face his beloved Chelsea after all.

“I hope this isn’t the end,” Terry said. “If we go up, I’m staying.

“And hopefully I can play for a few more years in the Premier League.

“It’s only fair that if we go up, which is the belief within the group, that I stick around. It’s in my contract when I hit a certain number of matches.”

Villa will hope to bring home an advantage from the Riverside on Saturday, with the return leg against Middlesbrough at Villa Park scheduled for Tuesday night.