Chelsea's Oscar charged by Guus Hiddink to play with more emotion
LONDON -- Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink insists he has no desire to curb Oscar's aggression after a tackle from the Brazilian sparked a training-ground altercation with Diego Costa on Thursday.
The pair had to be separated by teammates after Costa reacted angrily to a challenge by Oscar during an intense training session, though Chelsea insist no punches were thrown and the incident quickly became the subject of jokes among the players as they left the field at Cobham.
Oscar later took to Twitter to play down the confrontation, while Hiddink described it as a clash of "two bulls." The Dutchman believes aggression makes his playmaker more effective on the pitch and wants him to harness it in a positive way.
Pra quem está falando que eu e o @diegocosta brigamos hoje no treino está mentindo,Ele é um dos meus melhores amigos e jamais iríamos brigar- Oscar (@oscar8) January 7, 2016
"When he puts the emotion in, automatically his level of play rises," Hiddink told reporters before quipping: "That's encouraging, so we try to punch him every now and then a bit to get him on this level! He's a cold player with vision and getting very good information, but when he goes into this with a little bit more of a mood of action, his play can get even better."
Asked if he and his coaching staff had specifically designed the session to bring out the aggression in his players, Hiddink replied: "No, not that kind because we don't want to have many repetitions of this.
"When you go on the edge within the rules there's no problem. It's not intentionally provoked by us to have 10-a-side, 5-a-side and say 'Guys, start fighting,' because then you damage the team as well. You have to transfer it to the game and if you do this in a game then there might be a red or dark yellow card.
"I don't like when they start hitting [each other] but I like it more when I have to say 'Hey guys, I'll have to put the break on, control your emotions.' When you have to push people then your motivation is at too low a level, so I like it more that I have to be alert."
Both Costa and Oscar could feature when Chelsea take on Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, with Hiddink confirming he intends to pick a strong team at Stamford Bridge as he bids to recapture the trophy he won during his first spell as Blues caretaker in 2009.
"With a big club you have to set some targets," the Dutchman insisted. "Fourth place in the Premier League is difficult, but then there are two targets left, of which one is the FA Cup, so it's a big target for this group of players.
"We are unbeaten four games in a row, which is OK but must be the standard for a club like Chelsea. I'm happy with the restart of the team but the next step is very important, and that is why a win against Palace was important. But you must have this in the follow-up."
Radamel Falcao, Loic Remy and Eden Hazard all remain unavailable due to injuries, while Hiddink also revealed that Cesar Azpilicueta picked up a minor problem during Chelsea's 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Sunday.
"There was also a problem -- not a big problem -- with Azpi," Hiddink added. "He has a fracture in his jaw. He was kicked in the face. He needs a mask [against Scunthorpe]."