Disciplinary problems dogging Costa

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui says Chelsea striker Diego Costa must cut out the disciplinary problems that have dogged his career.

Chelsea: Disciplinary problems dogging CostaChelsea: Disciplinary problems dogging Costa

Costa narrowly escaped being sent off for his country in the 1-1 draw against Italy in the week when, after earlier being booked for a clash with Leonardo Bonucci, he kicked the ball into the stands after being flagged for offside.

Referee Felix Byrch opted for leniency and did not book the forward for a second time but Lopetegui immediately substituted him for his own good.

The Spain boss says Costa needs to improve this side of his game and he says the former Atletico Madrid star, who has been sent off four times in his career so far, must “iron out” his obvious flaws.

“You can change in a positive way if you make the right decisions,” Lopetegui said. “Diego has a certain character. He is a fighter. But sometimes his reactions hurt his reputation.

“He will be able to iron out these things as he develops. He is aware of it and so are we. These things can cost him. It could be hurtful to him.

“But we must love Diego the way he is and try to understand him. Any small advantage can make the difference in a tight game.”

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