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Ivanovic expects Costa to come back stronger

Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea's captain in the injury-enforced absence of John Terry, believes Diego Costa will react to his omission from the team in the 0-0 draw with Spurs in a positive way.

Costa remained on the bench for the duration of the Barclays Premier League showdown at White Hart Lane and in the final moments tossed his substitutes' bib over his shoulder in the direction of Jose Mourinho.

Costa wears the infamous pink bib. Credit: Reuters

"I expect Diego to come back strongly. We start the season as a team and we have to finish as a team," Ivanovic said.

"Sometimes for a player who isn't playing it's difficult but it is a normal situation for the club.

"This is important. When we start losing we all know it's not about the one or two players playing badly or playing well - it's about the team.

"Diego didn't play against Tottenham but he'll be ready for the next game.

"He scored against Norwich - the winning goal. It's all about the team. We all have to think about that."


Brentford set to appoint Walsall's Smith as new boss

Dean Smith will be the new Brentford manager. Credit: PA

Walsall boss Dean Smith will become Brentford's new manager on Monday.

The Saddlers chief will be named as the Bees' new boss as they finally replace the sacked Marinus Dijkhuizen, Press Association Sport understands.

Smith only signed a new 12-month rolling contract at the Banks's Stadium in October but has been tempted to Griffin Park with Brentford 11th in the Sky Bet Championship, four points behind the play-off spots.

Ex-Man United defender set for Valencia caretaker role

Phil Neville and Voro will reportedly take charge of first-team affairs at Valencia until further notice following the resignation of Nuno on Sunday night.

Nuno announced his departure following Los Che's 1-0 loss to Sevilla, but said he had already informed chairman Peter Lim of his decision prior to kick-off.

Phil Neville is on the coaching staff at Valencia. Credit: PA

A formal statement is expected from the club later on Monday after a meeting between Nuno and club directors, but Neville and Voro have been told to prepare to take charge of training on Tuesday according to reports in AS.

Nuno, 41, leaves the side ninth in Primera Liga and third in Group H of the Champions League, still with a shot of progressing to the knock-out stages.

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