English Premiership

Conte counting on Costa to focus

Diego Costa (Getty Images)
Diego Costa (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Antonio Conte has stressed the importance of a focused Diego Costa to his Chelsea team after the striker scored another late winning goal to maintain the Blues' perfect start to the new season.

The former Atletico Madrid striker helped his side defeat West Ham last weekend before seeing off Watford in similar fashion this Saturday.

Costa has courted much controversy during his time with Chelsea, not least in the West Ham game where he may have seen red before netting the winning goal.

But Conte, who appears to have reinvigorated the Spain international following a poor campaign last season, says it is merely a matter of keeping the player focused.

Conte explained: "Diego must be focused on the game.

"I don't want him to focus on other players, other managers or the press or people that talk badly about him. He must just stay very focused on the game.

"For me, the game - performance - is the most important thing. The others are only 'blah, blah, blah.' It's important to pay attention during the game because he is an important player and he can score a lot of goals.

"So I want him to put himself in the game, not to think of other situations. It is not good for me, it's not good for him and it's not good for Chelsea or the fans.

"I try to speak with all my players and with all the players. It's important to have these revelations. But I prefer to keep with me what I say."