New signing John Terry has been giving his thoughts on Aston Villa and manager Steve Bruce but he’s hoping he can win the fans over.
Having plenty of experience playing against us, Terry joked there has been a bit of ‘abuse’ along the way but he’s now looking forward to seeing the Villa Park crowd behind him and driving the team on as we go for the aim of promotion this year.
Speaking to the Official Site after signing his one year contract, and prior to jetting out to meet up with the lads on our training camp, Terry explained.
‘It`s a club I have grown up with over the years. From a young boy, it`s always been a top club. Over the past two years, it`s been somewhere it shouldn`t be – playing in the Championship. This is where we are at the moment. Everyone here – the players, the manager, the coaching staff, the owner – has that ambition to get back into the Premier League. I have had some really good occasions here at Villa Park over the years. I have had a bit of abuse too along the way. But I hope the fans are going to get behind me and the team and really support us. The squad is in place. There is quality here. It`s capable of competing and winning the league this season and then competing a high level in the Premier League for sure.’
Of course one big thing in doing the deal was Steve Bruce, but he wasn’t alone as Terry admitted working with others behind the scenes was also a pull for him as he inevitably looks towards his post playing career now.
‘Working with Steve was a massive pull. Being a centre-back, he`s someone I admired. Then there was director of football Steve Round and the owner Dr Tony Xia. I am excited by it – the new chapter. No.1 is getting promotion and winning this league. We will then go from there.’
With golf playing a huge part in the negotiations as we sold the club to him and convinced him his future lay with us, Terry joked that Bruce may have let him win to seal the deal but he credited Bruce for being respectful when they met.
‘I did win. But I am not sure if the gaffer let me win to try and get the deal over the line. We had a good time on the fairways – a non-football talk. He was respectful in that way. It was a relaxing game of golf. I have known Steve for many years. He expressed the interest, he was sending me messages and I am delighted I am finally here.’
Of course a new club, the new man in the room, it means initiation songs.
‘I am really nervous about that. I have been on the other end of that – intimidating the other players. It`s quite nerve-wracking.’
I’m sure that’s a video we’d all like to see!
Having spoken about a bit of abuse in the past, the fans came up as a topic of conversation and Terry knew the best way to win everybody over was with performances as ultimately that’s what it’s always about.
‘First and foremost, respect among the fans comes from performances and results. You don`t just get that from day one. It took a long time at Chelsea – coming through the ranks – to get that respect. I hope to do a similar thing here and build up a rapport with the fans for sure.’
There was also praise and respect for Villa Park.
‘Villa Park is one of the magnificent stadiums of English football. When I used to come here as Chelsea captain, if I won the toss I always used to switch sides. That`s because I didn`t want Villa kicking towards the Holte End in the second half. It`s an intimidating place for sure and I have been on the receiving end of it. I can`t wait to hear their roar and I urge them to get behind the lads again this coming season and put the pressure on the opponents. They are a big plus.’
Terry went on to explain that Villa offered him the No 26 shirt, he didn’t come in with demands and the like and he appreciates the captaincy is a decision for Bruce, again it’s not something that he’s demanding as he knows a structure is already in place.
‘First of all, it was important for me to come here without any demands, asking for the No.26 or the captaincy. It was actually something the club put forward for me, which was a really kind gesture. I am delighted about that because No.26 has been my number. It means a lot to me. I didn`t ask for it, the club was kind enough to offer it to me.’
As for the armband.
‘I will leave that up to Steve to make the decision. I have not come with any demands. I am coming here to prove myself as a player and help the group. I am here to help and guide.’
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