As he prepares to take charge for a game for the first time since returning, Guus Hiddink says he wants Diego Costa’s focus to be on scoring goals and making assists in the coming months.
The new manager has liked what he has seen in training so far, and while he knows from his own experiences that emotion can play a big part in sport, he hopes the striker can return to top form by concentrating on what he does best.
‘I've worked with Diego Costa a few days, and in the past I've seen him on television a few times,’ says Hiddink.
‘From what I experienced in the last few days, and I must also take into consideration the last game he played against Sunderland, he was in control.
‘He was focused more on what he is hired for here, and that is to help to score or to assist and not going into other things. I think he was well controlled when I experienced him in the last days. I cannot have any complaints about him.
‘He's an emotional guy,’ continues the manager. ‘A long time ago, I was captain of my team and the manager substituted me at half-time. I wasn’t used to that. I thought I'd performed but I threw off my armband and threw it at him.
‘It was also an emotional reaction born of frustration. It was a sign of frustration. Sportsmen, even though they are on camera, are allowed to show a bit of emotion, but they must know five or 10 seconds later that they're wrong.
‘I think Diego can focus on what he is able to do. I cannot guarantee there won't be an outburst from him or others, but they have to focus on what they're good at.’
If the players do that then Hiddink is confident we can quickly rise up the table. He reveals what goals he set the players when he first met with them all together earlier this week.
‘Generally, I set targets: the target is, because mathematically it's possible, to get in fourth position. To do that we have to be exclusively good. If the target is impossible, don't set it, but I did put that to them.
‘Then the Champions League; and then the FA Cup. There are three targets still to go for. On top of that, or as a foundation of that, the players must show now what they're capable of.'