Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho has called on struggling striker Diego Costa to improve his reading of the game.
The Spain international scored 20 Premier League goals in 26 appearances in a successful first season at Stamford Bridge which culminated in the title.
It is form that starkly contrasts with his three strikes in 11 outings this term, with Chelsea sitting 15th in the table.
Mourinho believes Costa – who scored the winner against Norwich City last weekend – must show greater intelligence in his movement if he is to rediscover his best form.
“He is not reading the game properly in these actions. That was my opinion,” the Portuguese coach said.
“As a striker he must read. You have to play not when you have the ball, but when others have the ball.
“You have to anticipate things and read the game faster. Everything is an accumulation.
“You’re not on fire again just because you’ve scored a goal against Norwich. It’s a process.”
The pair argued during Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champions League in midweek, but Mourinho insisted no lasting damage has been done.
“Everything is okay, no problem,” he said. “In the game I told him, from a distance, that I was not happy with the movement he did.
“He told be also a few nice words from where he was. And nothing happened, nothing happened at half-time.”
Chelsea visit Tottenham on Sunday facing a 14-point deficit to leaders Leicester City and sitting 10 behind their London rivals.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!