Chelsea manager ?Antonio Conte has revealed what exactly went down in his heated training ground bust up with Diego Costa in December.
Reports at the time suggested that the pair had had a blazing row over the Spain international’s fitness, while others speculated that Costa’s head had been turned by a substantial offer from a Chinese Super League club.
In an interview with Sky Italia (via the ?Daily Mirror) on Sunday, however, Conte explained how he had to raise his voice to argue with Costa during the exchange at the club’s Cobham training base, and now claims that his relationship with the 28-year-old is now better than it ever was.
He said: “I was very clear with him and raised my voice: and the player understood. Now everything is perfect.”
Chelsea currently sit in first place in the Premier League, nine points clear of nearest Premier League title challengers Tottenham Hotspur, after a truly amazing run of 16 wins and one draw in the past 17 league encounters.
Only Spurs have inflicted defeat on the Blues since their 3-0 reverse to Arsenal back in September, and Conte said that he had had ‘blind faith’ in his abilities to turn the club’s fortunes around after a horrendous 2015/16 campaign and a slow start to this term.
He continued: “I have blind faith in what I do. We had won the first three games, but I didn’t like the performances. It was a delicate time, but not dramatic.
“Looking at last season, when Chelsea had practically the same players, you cannot immediately transform from ugly ducking into a swan. At the end of the day we found our balance. The blind faith in my ideas helped. I made some strong choices.”
Chelsea are still being hunted by the chasing pack of Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City despite their lead at the top, and Conte added that, while he was unconcerned over his rivals catching his side, talk of already securing this season’s title was much too soon.
He said: “There is no one particular team that worries me more. The experience of being a player really helps. I won the Champions League, but I also lost other finals and that made me more determined to win.
“You can’t talk about the title yet, as anything could still happen. Just look at us, Chelsea were struggling at the start and turned the whole season around. We’ve got to stay calm. Today Manchester City beat Swansea with two minutes to go and I would’ve preferred that game end in a draw.”
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