LONDON Chelsea are considering an appeal against the red card given to club captain John Terry in Sunday's 4-1 FA Cup third-round win at home to Peterborough United, said manager Antonio Conte.
Terry, playing his first match for two months, was dismissed by referee Kevin Friend in the 67th minute for bringing down Lee Angol to deny a goalscoring opportunity.
But Conte felt the official made a mistake.
"I think it wasn’t a good decision by the referee," the Italian told reporters. "First because John did not take him and second because behind John there was (Branislav) Ivanovic.
"Maybe we do an appeal for this situation because John did not deserve it.
"I’m pleased with John because he is showing me great commitment and he’s showing me he’s a good man and he’s helping me a lot in the changing room.
"I think he will play a lot in the second half of the season."
Asked whether Terry would be offered a new contract after his current one runs out at the end of the season, Conte said that was a decision for the club and not just him.
Overall, he was grateful his Premier League leaders had not suffered against lower division opposition like Liverpool, who were held by Plymouth Argyle, or Bournemouth, who lost at Millwall, after resting most of his first-choice players.
Pedro's double plus a goal apiece for Willian and Michy Batshuayi put paid to third-tier Peterborough's Cup dreams.
"We changed many players because I think that in this game I could have an opportunity to see some players who do not play a lot," Conte said. "So I saw a lot of possibility. We showed good commitment and we showed we were a team and we won as a team.
"When you change nine players it's not easy. The young players showed me they are growing."
Chelsea, who lost at Tottenham last Wednesday after 13 successive league victories, resume their campaign away to champions Leicester City on Saturday.
They will have defender Nathan Ake available after confirming he has returned from an impressive loan spell at Bournemouth.
"Ake gives me important options," Conte said. "Chelsea is his home."
(Writing by Steve Tongue; Reporting by Clare Lovell; Editing by Ken Ferris)