Saturday 18 November 2017

Oscar plays better when he's angry, jokes Hiddink

Diego Costa, left, and Oscar, right, had a confrontation during Chelsea training
Diego Costa, left, and Oscar, right, had a confrontation during Chelsea training Newsdesk Newsdesk

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink suggested that Oscar benefits from being antagonised after the Brazil playmaker's training ground confrontation with Diego Costa was laughed off.

Tensions boiled over ahead of tomorrow's FA Cup third-round tie with Scunthorpe after robust tackles were exchanged during training.

Costa took exception to a challenge from Oscar, with the swift intervention of team-mates required to help defuse the situation. The pair later joked about the incident, but Hiddink suggested that the slight Oscar benefits from becoming angry.

"When this guy puts the emotion in, then automatically his level of play rises," Hiddink said, adding jokingly: "We try to punch him every now and then to get him on this level."

Hiddink downplayed the scale of the confrontation, which came during an "intense" training session, saying: "It was a pity that our photographer had a day off because he could've shot beautiful pictures of two bulls who were chesting a bit after a charge from behind from the smallest bull of the two, which was Oscar.

"He got Diego. Then they stumbled over the ground, stood up as a normal reaction and then chested a bit without any further threat of punching or whatever.

"We came in between, but there was no need to say we had to grab them to avoid them hitting.

"Oscar apologised in front of the group. They looked at each other and then they started laughing. Jokes were made."

Chelsea will likely have to do so without Eden Hazard, who is out with a groin injury and will not be rushed back. They have only one fit striker in Costa, with Radamel Falcao (groin) and Loic Remy (calf) absent.

Chelsea v Scunthorpe United, Live, BT Sport 2, tomorrow, 2.0

Irish Independent

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