Terry: Europa League must not harm top four push

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John Terry has insisted Chelsea will go all out to win the Europa League - but admitted his team still view Champions League qualification as the priority.

The Chelsea skipper hopes to overcome a knee injury to make the trip to Czech Republic for the club's last-32 Europa League tie against Sparta Prague on Thursday, after sitting out the 4-1 victory over Wigan at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.

But while Terry thinks the opportunity to win a trophy at the end of the season is motivation enough, he warned his teammates that Champions League qualification should not be sacrificed for short-term glory.

Terry told the London Evening Standard: "We're now in the Europea League and there is one message - we have to go and win it. It's as simple as that.

"We have to make sure that we're switched on in European weeks because games will be coming on Thursdays and Sundays, which is a different situation for us.

"We must make sure that after those European matches we come back and win our League fixtures because, a lot of the time, we are going to be a game behind the teams around us by the time we play."

Chelsea became the first defending champions to fail to qualify for the knock-out round of the following year's competition when they limped out at the Champions League group stage this season.

Their third-place finish saw them drop into the Europa League at the last-32 stage, but Terry wants to make sure the European adventure doesn't result in the club taking it's eye off the ball in the Premier League.

Chelsea are facing a battle to hold onto their top four spot, with Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton all competing with the Blues for two qualification places behind Manchester City and Manchester United.

The Blues are in pole position at the moment, five points clear of Arsenal, seven points clear of Everton and a single point ahead of Spurs.

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John Terry
Premier League

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