Conte says Costa is not untouchable at Chelsea
Chelsea boss, Antonio Conte, has insisted that Diego Costa is not untouchable in his squad.
Conte has already confirmed that Costa will be in the squad, for their Sunday game against Hull City at Stamford Bridge.
The 28-year-old was left out of the Blues’s 3-0 win at Leicester City in their last Premier League fixture, after he reportedly clashed with Conte over a back injury and an offer from China.
He rejoined first-team training on Tuesday, after training alone on Sunday and Monday, with other squad members given two days off.
“I must be honest, I don’t like this word, ‘untouchable,’” Conte said during his Friday media conference.
“You prove you should play a game in training sessions, and you have to prove you should start. I don’t like this word, this adjective, ‘untouchable.’ I prefer all my players show me every single day that they deserve to play on Sunday. For me, that’s important. From my career, I learnt this.”
The former Juventus manager, also urged Chelsea supporters not to boo the player.
“I’m sure on Sunday that, if Diego starts the game, he’ll put all himself into it for this club, the shirt and the fans, and do everything he can to win the game,” Conte said.
“I don’t think this situation can happen [with fans booing him]. It’s not right, it’s not right. I repeat: Last week, he had this injury, this pain in his back. Now he came back with us. I’m sure that, together, we have to win against Hull City. It’s important for me to be focused on all: on me, on the players, on the fans and on the game, because it’s a really important game for us to win.
“Our fans are really important, always, because they are great. They push a lot when we play at home. They push a lot when we play away. And, for us, for me, they are the 12th player on the pitch. I hope to continue in this way, to push a lot our team, my players, in every moment of the game. They are a really important part for us to try and win and try and continue to fight for the title.”