Chelsea striker Diego Costa is not an idiot - manager Guus Hiddink
LONDON -- Guus Hiddink has said Diego Costa is not an "idiot," despite the striker incurring the wrath of the Football Association for his actions during Chelsea's FA Cup quarterfinal defeat at Everton.
Costa, 27, was sent off when he was was shown a second yellow for reacting angrily to a foul by Everton midfielder Gareth Barry.
The Spain international was charged by the FA for misconduct after he protested to the official and failed to leave the pitch promptly.
He is set to miss Chelsea's next two matches, but the punishment could be extended to three games if the FA's independent disciplinary commission finds against him next week.
Hiddink said he believed "there was a little bit of searching for where we can get Diego [on the part of the FA]."
He added: "We've talked many times about him playing on the edge and his reactions, and we're still happy with his performances.
"I can never guarantee whether or not, bit by bit, he can be provoked. This is a technical matter in our club, inside the team here. No one else.
"It is a matter of temperament and character. If he produces what he did less frequently than what he did in the past... we have to have hope."
Asked whether Chelsea should accept that Costa could be "a bit of an idiot" on the pitch, Hiddink replied: "That's too strong. If you know the definition of an idiot that's different than characterising him as such.
"He knows he has to control himself -- but if you're in a very hectic situation, it's difficult. We have examples of people going over the edge in heated situations."
Costa has scored 11 goals and registered six assists in 16 Chelsea appearances under Hiddink, but was omitted from Vicente Del Bosque's Spain squad for the friendlies against Italy and Romania this month.
"[His form] is why I defend him," Hiddink continued. "Judging him fairly in what he should not do, that's why I had the conversation.
"But he is contributing a lot to our resurrection since December. It was a fitness issue by the Spanish coaches and medical team not to pick him."
Eden Hazard will also miss Chelsea's clash with West Ham through injury, and Hiddink confirmed that the club's medical staff would monitor his recovery from a thigh problem over the international break.