08 Jan Hiddink plays down training ground rift
Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink has played down the training pitch confrontation between Diego Costa and Oscar which has already been laughed off.
Tensions boiled over ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie with Scunthorpe after robust tackles were exchanged during training at the Blues’ Cobham base.
Costa took exception to a challenge from Oscar, with the swift intervention of team-mates required to help defuse the situation.
“It was a pity that our photographer yesterday had a day off because he could have 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,” said Hiddink, who succeeded Jose Mourinho last month.
“(Costa) took a charge from behind and it was overdone. Especially when you know Oscar. He’s not the biggest tackler of the team.
“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.
“We had an intense, very sharp training session that’s close on the edge. Those things happen.
“Oscar apologised in front of the group. They looked at each other and then they started laughing. Jokes were made already afterwards.
“It’s a battle which happens when you’re used to playing at high intensity.”
Oscar, in particular, has appeared rejuvenated by the managerial change at Chelsea.
Hiddink did not wish to compare the Brazil playmaker’s performances in recent weeks with those under his predecessor, though.
“Players like Oscar who are blessed by nature in their talent, they know they have to work hard for the benefit of the team,” Hiddink added.
“Maybe they were relying a bit too much on their talent. They are adding now some things.
“I don’t want to say that it was not (the case) before, but I’m focusing on that because the talent is gifted.”