Chelsea FC vs West Ham United - Hiddink hopes Diego Costa will control temper

Posted Saturday, March 19, 2016 by PA

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 Barclays 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."

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.

Eden Hazard will also miss the Hammers clash and Belgium's international with Portugal due to a hip and groin problem.

The absence of Costa and Hazard could see Alexandre Pato make his long-awaited debut.

The Brazilian joined on a six-month loan from Corinthians during the winter transfer window, but Hiddink ruled out Pato's deal being cut short despite the absence of game time.

"At this moment, he will stay until the end of the season, yes," Hiddink said.

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, meanwhile, has lauded Hiddink's influence in stabilising Chelsea ahead of his side's trip to Stamford Bridge.

Bilic's early management career and Hiddink's latter roles have intertwined. Bilic's Croatia met Hiddink's Russia and Turkey teams, while the two locked horns in Russia's domestic league when the Croat was in charge of Lokomotiv Moscow and the Dutchman was at Anzhi Makhachkala.

Now they meet in the Premier League for the first time after Hiddink's appointment as Chelsea interim boss in December.

Hiddink has guided Chelsea into the top half of the table after a woeful start to the season under Mourinho.

Bilic said: "I know him well. I didn't see him or speak to him, but I'm looking forward to seeing him big time. He's a legend in this business and he's doing well with Chelsea now.

"He's done a good job. He's stabilised the club."

West Ham are fifth, two points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, but will be without defender James Tomkins who is suffering from a calf injury.

On-loan Chelsea winger Victor Moses is ineligible to face his parent club, but Sam Byram comes into contention after being cup-tied for last week's draw at Manchester United.

"We know (Chelsea are) going to try to make it up in the Premier League, starting with the game against us on Saturday and we are well prepared for that," Bilic added.

"They have brilliant individuals. They are very strong, very skilful. When they catch you on the break, their pace and quality is there.

"We will again have to be on the top of our game to get anything out of that game."

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