Costa praises Conte influence

| 2nd Jan 2017

Costa praises Conte influence

Diego Costa has praised the impact made by Antonio Conte this season and also stressed the significance of having a good team spirit in the dressing room.

The striker fired in his 14th goal of the season against Stoke City on Saturday as the Blues racked up a 13th straight league success to stay six points clear at the top of the table. He puts much of the turnaround in the club’s fortunes from the disappointing 2015/16 campaign down to Conte’s arrival.

“The manager has come, he’s applied his ideas, and things are going well,” Diego Costa noted.

“The truth is the manager is good with the players, every time making more jokes with the players. That’s good for us, to have a manager who is not just a boss, but like a person we can talk with, someone whose support we can count on in difficult moments.

“He is calm with the players and you can see the people love him more all the time.”

Diego Costa says he was hampered by injury problems for much of last season and came close to returning to Atletico Madrid in the summer for family reasons.

“I was about to leave but not because of Chelsea, because here there’s a lot of love with the supporters so I’m very happy here, I’m very content.

“Here, the people love me a lot. There was one thing I wanted to change for family reasons but it wasn’t to be and I continue to be happy here. It was important too that the manager, from the very first minute, said he counted on me.

“Things are coming out well for me this season, but it’s very important that the team has other players, like Michy [Batshuayi], who can do well, and that the manager knows he has good players that can replace me.”

The good feeling around the camp has, according to Diego Costa, combined with the effort being put in on the pitch to produce the formula which has embarked us on this record winning streak.

The Blues will try to win for the 14th consecutive time at White Hart Lane on Wednesday.

“If you work hard and there’s not a good atmosphere, the work doesn’t mean a thing,” Diego Costa stated.

“You can run 20km, 80, 100, and if there’s no spirit between the players, the coaches, as colleagues, it won’t come out as well. Work goes well if you give your best with the guy beside you.

“The team is very good, when we win the atmosphere is like this, but it’s important that during the week we train seriously, so we approach games like this.

“It’s important to keep winning games,” Diego Costa continued, looking forward to the Tottenham trip.

“Both teams want to win. It’s a London derby so the match is played a bit stronger, but there’s no problem with it. We go there looking to do the best we can.”