John Terry has laid down the challenge for Aston Villa this season in stark terms by insisting that only winning the Championship would be acceptable.
The new Villa captain has given himself and his teammates little room for manoeuvre, reasoning that the hurt of disappointments with Chelsea still fires his ambition.
Steve Bruce pulled off a coup by signing Terry on a free transfer and has also added Glenn Whelan, Ahmed Elmohamady, and Christopher Samba to bolster his side with experience.
Aston Villa captain John Terry claims only winning the Championship would be acceptable
Terry, pictured after winning last season's Premier League title, won 15 honours with Chelsea
Terry was handed the armband and has immediately laid down the expectations for the campaign ahead, which begins with a match against Bruce’s former club Hull at Villa Park on Saturday evening.
Terry said: ‘Should we be winning the league, yes? If not, what are you going to take from there? Nothing, because nothing else is really acceptable, for me as an individual, how I have behaved in recent years. And I think within the group as well.
‘With the squad of players we already had, and with the additions the manager has made, we have a squad capable of going up. If we put things right on the pitch we are more than capable of going up.
'Clearly we want to be champions. The worst case scenario – and in this league you do get a buffer – we go up as runners–up. I am sure we would take that as well. Ideally to go up automatically is the one for us.
The defender insists his 'burning desire' to win trophies has not left him during his long