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Jose Mourinho dismisses Diego Costa row talk after Tottenham draw

Spaniard left out of the starting XI and an unused substitute at White Hart Lane

AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL
Penny for his thoughts: Diego Costa passes Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho insists 'priviledged' Diego Costa's mental state is good enough after the Chelsea striker was an unused substitute at Tottenham.

The Spaniard argued with the Blues boss during their 4-0 win at Maccabi Tel Aviv, although Mourinho insisted they had repaired any rifts that had emerged.

However, Costa was not on the bench and didn't warm up before the game before moving away in disgust towards the end of the 0-0 draw and Mourinho said he was privileged as he is the last of the club's main players to be dropped.

He said: “Diego is very privileged because he was the last one to be on the bench. Everyone else has been: the captain; Ivanovic, Cahill, the vice-captain of England; Fabregas; Pedro; 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 we thought the best strategy was this one.

“We are happy with the decision and the players. If we had won 1-0, our performnace would have been considered tremendous. You will stay say it was good.”

Costa did not warm up ahead of the contest, fuelling speculation over a row with Mourinho, but the Special One played that down after the contest.

The Chelsea boss explained: “I don't like my subs to warm up. I want them to be mentally ready to play when I need them.

“The second half, when I felt I could eventually use one of them, he warmed up and was ready to play.”

He explained further: “When I asked him to warm up he did. I put him with Ruben and Kenedy, warming up. I don't know.

“Eden was kicked, had some fouls, had some studs. Maybe I could have taken him off for the last few minutes, but he was so good, so dangerous for them to get him, I didn't want to change the team. At 0-0 we felt we could still score a goal, so why change?”

Costa appeared to throw a bib in Mourinho's direction after he was told he wasn't coming on and skulked away soon after but the Blues boss has no qualms with that.

AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL
Benched: Diego Costa

He added: “Physcially he is fine. 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, 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.”

“If he wants to hurt me, it's not with a bib. I have a good relationship with him, no problem.”

Mourinho had a message for Costa as to his performances after the game, saying: “If he watched the game with some attention from the bench he will know what is needed from him.”

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