England skipper John Terry insists he and Rio Ferdinand are comfortable as team-mates as they prepare to play together for the first time in 13 months against Switzerland at Wembley tomorrow.
The duo will link up in the Euro 2012 qualifier for the first time since Terry was reinstated as skipper in place of the injured Ferdinand for the clash with Wales in March.
It was Ferdinand’s fitness which effectively led to Terry regaining the armband from the Manchester United defender after being stripped of it himself a year earlier because of his off-the-field behaviour.
Now the experienced duo are reunited for the first time since the 2010 World Cup warm-up friendly with Japan - and the first time they have formed a central defensive partnership in a competitive game since the October 2009 meeting with Belarus.
Terry said: “Things are not uncomfortable between us, not at all.
“Rio has got an awful lot to give in the dressing room anyway which he naturally will, like the (other) older players in the squad.
“We made contact before anything happened between ourselves. It stays private between us but it is all okay and very much similar to when I lost the armband to Rio.
“I made contact with him and he was fine. It was just about doing the right thing for our country.
“We are in a privileged position to play for our country, we’ve both experienced being captain which is the greatest honour of all. We fully support each other.”
Terry is hoping the pair of them can enjoy an extended spell in the side ahead of the Euro 2012 finals - assuming England qualify.
He said: “Since Rio has come back from his injury at Manchester United, he has looked awesome again.
“We haven’t played as much as we would have liked together with England.
“But it is a chance now to maybe start together and build on from there.
“Hopefully in the next year it can put us in the right position in the group to qualify and have our partnership cemented.”
Terry also believes the relationship between head coach Fabio Capello and Ferdinand, plus all the other players, is healthy.
He said: “It is not just the relationship between those two guys (Ferdinand and Capello), it’s the manager’s relationship with everyone.
“I think over the years it has got better and better every time we meet up with the understanding of him, knowing what he likes and what makes him tick and him knowing what makes us tick.
“I think we’ve got a really good balance at the moment of where we are.”
It is eight years since Terry made his England debut against Serbia and Montenegro and he admits there is still much to achieve before he ends his career.
He said: “You are never going to feel fulfilled unless we win something.
“That is the ultimate aim. On a personal note, I feel I’ve got an awful lot of games left in me.
“I’ve got three years left on my Chelsea contract and am looking to stay at the very top for as long as possible.
“But to lead England into a tournament is a big incentive as well.
Terry believes the England players have benefited from a week’s break after the conclusion of the domestic season but is adamant everyone is focused fully on claiming three points against the Swiss.
He said: “The break has been very important. It’s been rest and recovery.
“But as a player, you go away knowing you’ve got this game, so I was training twice a day, like many of the lads were from having spoken to them.
“You don’t switch off as a player. You do a bit in the morning, a bit in the gym in the evening, and making sure you are ready to go again for this big game.”