Posted on: Fri 30 Mar 2012

John Terry praised the work of Didier Drogba after the forward's heroic display against Valencia on Tuesday night helped us through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Drogba struck twice either side of a Ramires goal he created with a fine through-ball, as well as playing his part in a dogged defensive display that sees us top Group E after Bayer Leverkusen's draw at Genk. It was a superb contribution from a player still working towards peak fitness.

'I think we're all obviously delighted. We left it late in the group but we did the job and Didier was fantastic for us,' said Terry, who today celebrates his 31st birthday. 'We knew it was going to be difficult, which it was, and we needed a big man to hold it up and give us time to get up which he did.

'It was important we didn't concede. We set out with a game plan, and obviously the early goal from Didier helped us but we still had to hold on and the second goal came.

'The manager stressed that a third goal kills them off, which it did, and it was a great third goal from Didi after a great start to get us on the way. If he's only 80 percent fit, there's plenty more life in him!'

Having overseen back-to-back 3-0 wins following Saturday's victory at Newcastle, Terry believes we are now returning to top form, great timing with league leaders Manchester City the next to visit Stamford Bridge on Monday.

'Slowly but surely we are getting to our best, we had our dip in form and hopefully that's the end of it,' the captain said. 'Newcastle was our building block and we won again here today. We've got a massive game on Monday against Man City and we're prepared for that.'