Football: Chelsea's Hiddink backs Terry to continue at top level

Terry will be suspended for the final two Premier League games of the season after being sent off against Sunderland.
Terry will be suspended for the final two Premier League games of the season after being sent off against Sunderland.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Defender John Terry is fit enough to continue at the highest level, Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink said, amid growing uncertainty surrounding his captain's future.

The 35-year-old's illustrious Chelsea career appears to be nearing an end as his contract expires at the end of the season and he is yet to be offered a new deal.

Terry could have made his last appearance for the London club as he will be suspended for the final two Premier League games of the season after he was sent off in Chelsea's 3-2 loss at Sunderland on Saturday.

"When I make a judgment on how he plays and his fitness he is able to continue," Hiddink told reporters. "(But the decision is) up to the club and not for me to make declarations on that."

Fan favourite Terry, who made his senior debut in 1998, is Chelsea's most successful captain, having led them to four league titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups and one Champions League crown since 2004.

Terry has previously suggested that he may not retire at Chelsea, but Hiddink called for more transparency from the club's hierarchy regarding the situation.

"I don't know the state of mind of the fans. It's my personal opinion once you know your plans, then you can be transparent, but it's up to the club, it's not up to me," he said. "Of course, he deserves a huge goodbye."

Hiddink's men face Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday and the Dutchman hailed the Merseyside club's transformation under manager Juergen Klopp.

"They made a good (managerial) change. It is club with a huge history and it is an energetic team Klopp has formed. They can be very resilient," Hiddink said.

"They have a good skilful team but are also mentally tough and it is nice to see."

Chelsea host champions Leicester City on Sunday.