Chelsea’s interim manager, Guus Hiddink, has told the press that there wasn’t much to a reported bust-up between two of the club’s star players, Oscar and Diego Costa.
Reports emerged from the newspaper The Telegraph that the two players had had to be separated after an ‘outrageous challenge’ from the Brazilian, Oscar, on Costa during a training match. The 24-year-old took to Twitter to deny the incident, saying, “For those who are talking to me and @diegocosta struggle today in training he’s lying, he’s one of my best friends and never fight ;)”.
Hiddink has admitted there was a coming together, however. He said, “Oscar apologised in front of the group and they all started laughing, jokes were made”. The bust-up came as the defending Premier League champions prepared to begin their assault on this season’s FA Cup with a match against League One side Scunthorpe on Sunday.
Dutchman Hiddink arrived at Stamford Bridge in December last year after the departure of the club’s former manager, Jose Mourinho. It is the second time that he has come in midway through the season as he also did so in 2009 when Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich decided to sack then manager Luis Felipe Scolari.
Hiddink led the Blues to an FA Cup triumph that season and would like to repeat the feat this time around, so he was keen to play down the significance of the incident between two of his charges. In his pre-match press conference before the 3rd round game he said, “It’s a pity that our photographer had a day off or he could have shot beautiful pictures from the two. They were jesting a bit after a charge from behind from the smaller of the two, Oscar. Costa took a charge from behind and it was overdone, especially when you know Oscar is not the biggest tackler of the team. They stumbled over the ground, stood up, as a normal reaction, they jested a bit, but we came in between them to say that there was no need to hit each other. Those things happen when you’re close on the edge. Oscar apologised for over-reacting, then they looked at each other and started laughing. It was a normal battle”.
Chelsea have had a troubled season so far, lying in 14th place after a terrible start to the campaign under former manager Mourinho. The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ lost nine league games and saw his side knocked out of the League Cup by Stoke City before Abramovich decided to step in and ask Hiddink to get the club’s season back on track. Rumours of the bust-up at the club’s Cobham training ground making it into the press are unlikely to improve the owner’s mood.