Terry says Mourinho was best coach and denies any rift

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LONDON, Sep 29 (Reuters) John Terry says he is taking legal action after British newspapers ran stories that a row between the Chelsea captain and Jose Mourinho precipitated the Portuguese coach's shock exit from the club last week.

Writing in the Chelsea programme for today's west London derby with Fulham, England captain Terry also said Mourinho was the best manager he had ever worked with.

''Most of the time it's easy to shrug off stories that are plainly made up but this week I got very angry about a couple of pieces suggesting an argument between me and Jose ... was somehow the cause or contributed to his leaving Chelsea,'' Terry wrote.

''This is ridiculous and untrue and with the help of my lawyer I'm taking action to put this right.'' Mourinho left Chelsea ''by mutual consent'' last week and was replaced by Israeli coach Avram Grant, who is close to owner Roman Abramovich.

Unhappy fans chanted Mourinho's name during Saturday's game, the first at home since his departure and stall holders were doing a brisk trade in ''Bring back Jose Mourinho, We love the Special One'' tee-shirts outside the ground.

''Jose Mourinho won six trophies at Chelsea, he simply was the most successful Chelsea manager ever and the best manager I have worked with,'' Terry wrote.

''His training preparation and tactics were outstanding...but more importantly he is a good man...'' Terry, 26, who joined the club as a 14-year-old, added that Grant was the fourth manager he had played under at Chelsea and called on fans players and all staff to give him their full support.

Grant, whose two games in charge so far have been a 2-0 defeat at Champions Manchester United and a 4-0 League Cup victory at Championship (second division) side Hull, did not contribute to the programme.

Instead chairman Bruce Buck praised Mourinho's record but said the club ''is bigger than any player manager or owner'' and urged support for Grant and his team.

Reuters SSC GC2110

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