Hiddink wants Costa to cool his temper after talks

Costa involved in heated clash at Everton
Costa involved in heated clash at Everton

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink has spoken to Diego Costa after his dismissal at Everton and hopes the striker can learn to control his volatile temper.

Costa, who has scored 11 goals in his last 16 games, was sent off for the first time as a Chelsea player in last week's FA Cup loss at Goodison Park and will miss Saturday's Premier League clash with West Ham through suspension.

He had until Thursday at 6pm to respond to a charge of improper conduct following his reaction to being shown red by referee Michael Oliver. It is understood the verdict will be announced next week, but, if found guilty, his suspension could be extended.

Costa avoided further sanctions. He had no case to answer over a half-time gesture and was absolved of a bite on Gareth Barry after the Everton midfielder insisted nothing untoward had happened during their altercation.

Hiddink said: "I talked to him and we talked many times about him playing on the edge and his reactions. We were happy and are still happy with his performances.

"What we all like, but not going over the edge, is to play as he is doing, with a lot of blood. Whether or not bit by bit (he is) provoked, he has to control himself. He knows (that).

"If he reduces what he did more frequently in the past, we are progressing. We have to have hope."

Hiddink described the incident with Barry, during which Costa nuzzled into the Everton midfielder's neck, as a "kiss or bite, however you mention it". The Dutchman suggested the gesture allegation was made to target Costa.

"First everyone wants to go on his kiss or bite, however you mention it, (but) Barry made a very good statement by saying what has happened or not happened in this case," Hiddink added.

"Maybe there was a little bit of searching for Diego, 'Where can we get him?'. There he was frustrated.

"He desperately likes to play. He accepts he's suspended and (is) not happy with that."

Costa has played a significant role in guiding Chelsea clear of the lower reaches of the table since Hiddink succeeded the sacked Jose Mourinho in December.

The Dutchman added: "He also is contributing a lot to the little bit of a resurrection after December, when we started. That's why I defend him and I like him very much."

Hiddink denied Costa's omission from the Spain squad for the friendlies with Italy and Romania was due to his disciplinary issues, instead insisting it was a result of an ongoing hip problem which will be treated during the international break which follows the West Ham match.

"It was a medical issue by the Spanish coaches and medical team," Hiddink said.