Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho explains decision to drop Diego Costa
Chelsea 1 Schalke 1: Jose Mourinho insists his decision to drop Diego Costa wasn't a protective measure
Jose Mourinho insists that his decision to drop Diego Costa for Chelsea’s draw with Schalke was not precautionary but a move out of necessity due to the striker’s recent injury problem.
The Chelsea manager started Didier Drogba despite Costa scoring a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory over Swansea City in the Premier League on Saturday, taking his tally to seven goals for the season.
The 25-year-old did make a second-half substitute appearance as the Blues pressed for a winner after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar cancelled out Cesc Fabregas’s 11th-minute strike at Stamford Bridge.
And post-match, Mourinho rubbished claims that he dropped Costa with the Manchester City clash on Sunday in mind, insisting that Costa was unable to play for any longer on Wednesday night after featuring at the weekend.
“Costa has a problem and he can’t play three matches in a row,” Mourinho said.
“If he has one week to let the muscle recover, he can start again like he is doing in the last weeks [before the international break].
“Since he had that problem with national team, three days is not long enough to recover. It was to protect him.”
Mourinho added that Costa was perfectly fit when the striker completed his £32m move from Atletico Madrid in the summer, underlining that the hamstring issue only arose on international duty with Spain.
“He came to us and he was completely fine. He had a problem with the national team, not with us,” Mourinho added.
“Now he has a problem and we have to resolve the problem as best we can. [For] Sunday we believe he is [fit]. Next week at Bolton, we are sure he isn’t.”