Monday 20 November 2017

Costa: I won't change

Diego Costa has been a frustrated spectator in recent weeks
Diego Costa has been a frustrated spectator in recent weeks

Chelsea striker Diego Costa believes he is already a victim of his own reputation in England but insists he will never change his aggressive style.

Costa returned to domestic action against Burnley last weekend after serving a three-match ban for stamping on Liverpool's Emre Can.

The combative forward maintains the altercation with Can was an innocent mistake but his first season at Stamford Bridge, which has included an impressive 18 goals, has been blighted by controversy.

Costa, who is likely to start against Tottenham in Sunday's Capital One Cup final, admits he is a marked man now in this country but says he will be not holding back at Wembley.

"I'm not going to change my way of playing," Costa said.

"I do know now that I have to be a little bit more careful because it's not the same when I do something or when someone else does it.

"Something I do, it's talked about much more than another player.

"I have to be extra careful but I'm never going to change the way I play. That's what got me here, that's the way I play."

Costa scored in Chelsea's 5-3 defeat to Tottenham in January but the 26-year-old has not found the net in his last four matches and is yet to notch in any cup competition this season.

"When I was at my best, I had that suspension [after Liverpool] that I still don't even know why it happened," he continued.

"Now, I'm running a little bit behind, trying to do my best, working hard and hopefully I'll be 100 per cent."

He continued: "I don't pick tournaments to score, or rivals or other teams to score against.

"I'm a striker, every game I play I want to score. If it hasn't happened in the cup, I'm hoping to God it happens on Sunday."

Costa will be making his first appearance at Wembley but Jose Mourinho may also turn to Didier Drogba, who has scored eight goals in eight games at the national stadium.

The Ivorian has only lost one Wembley final in his career - a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham in the 2008 League Cup final - and insists he is as hungry as ever.

"It was a difficult one to take (in 2008) because I had only just returned from the African Nations Cup and it was only my second game back for Chelsea," Drogba said.

"We started well (Drogba scored Chelsea's goal) but we lost to the better team, it was as simple as that.

"Most of the time, when you win a cup final, it is because you are the better team on the day, and this time it was Tottenham's day."

Drogba added: "Put me there on the pitch and you will see what it means to me.

"Even if you do not start the game, or you have to come off the bench, it is hard to lose a final because you are still part of the team.

"It can happen but I'll try to avoid it and if I can make a difference, even if I am only on the pitch for two minutes, I will try to do it."

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