Costa has learned to control his temper, says Conte

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The Blues boss has worked hard to help his striker to stop the red mist descending since his arrival and believes that he has finally learned to keep a cool head.

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Antonio Conte is impressed with how Diego Costa is handling himself on the pitch after improving his disciplinary record in recent weeks for Chelsea.

Costa has been on four yellow cards since he picked up a booking against Arsenal in September’s 3-0 defeat, with one more meaning he will have to serve a suspension; but in recent weeks he has shown that he is able to control his famous temper.

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Conte was initially worried upon joining Chelsea after Costa received two bookings for dissent, in Chelsea first two games, but he thinks that Costa has improved his temperament as well as other areas of his game, in recent weeks.

“Diego is showing he can control himself, It’s fantastic,” Conte said at a press conference at Cobham Training Centre. “Diego is improving a lot under a lot of aspects. For me now, Diego is one of the best strikers in the world.

“He must continue that, working in this way, with his commitment and work-rate. It’s fantastic to see his work during the games, but also in training.”

Costa is the Premier League’s top goalscorer with nine goals in his first 11 league games of the season while his three assists also mean that he has been involved in more goals than any other player, so far this season.

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Conte credited Costa’s work rate as setting the standard for the rest of the Chelsea squad, as they aim to continue their run of five wins against Middlesbrough on Sunday at the Riverside Stadium.

“Diego is a very good player. The same for Eden. It’s important for me, for their team-mates, to see that in every game, Diego works a lot with the ball and without the ball. He’s an example for all. And I want to continue this way.

“If he continues to score, I’ll be very happy. But I’ll be happier to see this commitment, this work-rate during training and in games, to work with the team with and without the ball.

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“If all the players are able to think in this way, it’s fantastic and we’ll be a good team, a very tough team to play.”

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