Diego Costa defends referees

The Brazilian-born Spain striker was suspended for three matches after being caught treading on Liverpool???s Emre Can in the Capital One Cup semi-final.

Blues manager Jose Mourinho was incensed to lose his player to retrospective video evidence and insists his club are victims??? of a ???campaign??? by officials and the media.

But Costa has leapt to the defence of match officials insisting they do a good job in difficult circumstances.

“I think the referees should think about how many times I am hit or kicked before I get angry about it,??? he told The Guardian.

“But referees here in England are good enough and professional, and they also understand well and realise what happens out on the pitch. They take that into account.

“I’ve been a target for defenders for a long time, and I am used to getting kicked by them, to get knocked by them.

“I also fight and tackle, even if some defenders complain at the slightest contact.

“To me, you draw a line under all that as soon as the game is over. We shake hands and it is all (left) on the field.

Mourninho will be able to select his combative star for Tuesday???s Champions League last-16 first-leg tie against Paris St Germain.

Costa, who has been in fine form scoring 17 times in 19 Premier League appearances since signing from Atletico Madrid last summer, wants to continue working hard for his manager and team.

“Up to now, things have gone phenomenally well for me at Chelsea,” Costa added.

“Jose Mourinho has been really clear about what he expects from me, saying he wants me working hard rather than just scoring. Hard work is what he values.”

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