English Premiership

Mourinho denies rift with brooding Costa

2015-11-30 09:54
Diego Costa (Supplied)
Diego Costa (Supplied)

London - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho denied any rift with Diego Costa despite the striker's unhappy reaction to being dropped to the bench for the scoreless draw at Tottenham Hotspur.

Mourinho admitted the pair had argued at half-time during the mid-week Champions League victory away to Maccabi Tel Aviv and Costa's mood at White Hart Lane on Sunday suggested he had taken his demotion badly.

The Spain international failed to warm up until told to late in the game, generally looked disgruntled and at one point appeared to toss his training bib in the direction of the manager.

But Mourinho said he had no complaints about Costa's behaviour, saying: "When I asked him to warm up, he did. I put him with Ruben (Loftus-Cheek) and Kenedy, warming up.

"Diego is very privileged because he was the last one to be on the bench. Everyone else has been: the captain (John Terry), (Branislav) Ivanovic, (Gary) Cahill, the vice-captain of England, (Cesc) Fabregas, Pedro, (Eden) Hazard, player of the season, Oscar; everyone was on the bench.

"Diego was privileged because I kept him in the team for all these matches. Today (Sunday) we thought the best strategy was this one."

Costa struggled with hamstring problems last season, but Mourinho said there were no issues with his condition.

"Physically, he is fine," said the Portuguese. "No problems. He is working well every day. His mood is positive. He's always a positive guy in the team.

"I was not expecting to have a player on the bench jumping and singing because he is not playing, unless you're a kid who has a chance to go on the bench -- Ruben, Kenedy, (who) feel that is one more step. But for a top player, they're not happy.

"His behaviour was normal. He was ready to play when he went to warm up. When I decided not to play him, he went. And probably he is eating while waiting for us in the bus."

The Chelsea manager joked: "If he wants to hurt me, it's not with a bib. I have a good relationship with him, no problem."

Chelsea 'a small team'

Mourinho described his side's display as their best performance of the season and believes the club can now start looking up the table after a dismal start.

"If we'd scored a goal, we'd have won," said Mourinho, whose team have now gone three games without defeat. "We still have a result and a performance and the feeling of 'the team'.

"After these three results in a row, we can look to December - when we have three matches at Stamford Bridge and two matches away at Manchester United and Leicester, two of the top teams - with enthusiasm.

"I'm convinced that, by the end of December, we'll be in a different position to now and we'll have shortened the difference to the top teams. At the end of the season our feeling will be a different feeling."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was left disappointed despite his side extending their unbeaten run to 13 league games, the club's best run since 1985.

"This is a good thing (that we are disappointed)," said the Argentine, whose side remain fifth in the table.

"We play the champions. It's good. You got the feeling that Chelsea were a small team, and Tottenham can win every game we play.

"It's very difficult, though. Not easy. We're the youngest team in the Premier League and the maturity we showed today we have shown in different games.

"We have to feel happy. It's a good thing that, maybe, we are a bigger club than Chelsea or that we deserve more.

"We showed good performances in the last few games, and I'm happy, but we have to keep working hard. We've only had 14 games in the Premier League and it's too early to think about the end (of the season)."

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Fixtures
Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Manchester City v West Ham United, Etihad Stadium 21:30
Saturday, 22 February 2020
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 14:30
Sheffield United v Brighton & Hove Albion, Bramall Lane 17:00
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United, Selhurst Park 17:00
Southampton v Aston Villa, St. Mary's Stadium 17:00
Burnley v AFC Bournemouth, Turf Moor 17:00
Leicester City v Manchester City, King Power Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 23 February 2020
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Norwich City, Molineux Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Watford, Old Trafford 16:00
Arsenal v Everton, Emirates Stadium 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

And the 2019/20 English Premiership champions will be ... ?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.