John Terry is convinced he is capable of playing on for Chelsea, although the 35-year-old captain is prepared to bide his time over a contract extension.
Terry played every minute of Chelsea’s Premier League title-winning campaign last season and was rewarded with a new 12-month contract.
It is Chelsea policy to offer only one-year increments to players aged over 30.
But, like most Chelsea players, Terry has been culpable for an abject showing this season, with the future uncertain.
Terry showed his determination and desire once again on Saturday by scoring the equaliser in a 3-3 draw with Everton in the eighth minute of stoppage time.
Terry said: “When you get to a certain age, there are a lot of people out there who think ‘he’s 35, going on 36 and maybe his legs have gone’. But I have never had legs, it’s as simple as that.
“I have never been quick all my career. But physically, I probably feel as good as I’ve ever felt in the last two or three years.
“I’m in the right state of mind. I’m still hungry. I want to win and finish my career here.
“But I’m not thinking of that. Last year, it was a couple of months from now before things got sorted.
“For me the most important thing is to get us out of this and up the league table.
“Hopefully that comes and I will just have to keep plugging away.”
Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink, who succeeded Jose Mourinho last month, will provide a glowing reference if asked his opinion on whether Terry should stay on next term.
“If I am asked I will give my honest opinion about that,” said the Dutchman, who is in his second caretaker spell at Stamford Bridge.
“If I say what I’m saying now, spontaneously out of my heart, then you can imagine what I think.
“His commitment is huge for this team and for the club, not just with his equalising goal, but with his attitude and the actions he did defensively and offensively.”
Hiddink sees little difference in the Terry he managed in 2009 and the player he is coaching seven years on.
“For me there’s not much (difference) between John in 2009 and now,” Hiddink said.
“For me you would have to underline that with data. You can say ‘hey, make a test and say he has lost some speed’, but I cannot see that.
“He’s fit, he trains well, he takes care of himself, takes a good rest, which you have to do at that age. I cannot see that he is slowing down a bit.”
Terry’s 700th club appearance was eventful and began with an own goal. He needs six more appearances to make it 700 for Chelsea; his other six were for Nottingham Forest on loan in 2000.
“I think he will make that,” Hiddink said.
Terry improvised neatly to score his goal, but admitted he was offside.
The decision to allow the goal to stand, after seven minutes of stoppage time had earlier been indicated, infuriated Everton boss Roberto Martinez.
Terry cared little after his first goal of the season.
He said: “It was just one of those moments where it was flicked on. I was offside and can’t argue with that. But I managed to just flick it over the keeper (Tim Howard).
“From being 2-0 down, it half feels like a win. The character that we showed is everything they have been demanding from us and rightly so.
“That fight could really kick us on. To come back from 2-0 against a really good side was superb.”
Chelsea next play Arsenal on Sunday and could be without Diego Costa, who went off with a shin injury which required a scan.
Should the injury prove serious, Chelsea may yet delve into the transfer market.
Hiddink said: “Let’s wait on the report. If the negative (happens), then yes, we start thinking in a very quick way.”