Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was left unperturbed by the prospect of being without suspended midfielder Nemanja Matic for the trip to Newcastle United despite the Serbian international's impressive start to his second coming at Stamford Bridge.
Matic received his fifth booking of the season after pulling back Harry Kane in the second half in the Blues' 3-0 win on Wednesday 3 December, which maintained their six-point lead at the Premier League summit and their unbeaten start to the campaign, and will miss the game at St James' Park.
The 26 year old's performances since re-joining Chelsea in the last January transfer window for £21m from Benfica have been the cornerstone of the side's improvement under Mourinho but the boss says Matic's absence hands another player – most likely John Obi Mikel – an opportunity.
"No problem," he said. "No problem. Play another one. Like Diego Costa. Did you remember Diego Costa today? I didn't.
"We give confidence to the other people. We don't cry when somebody cannot play. So obviously he is playing fantastically well for us but that is the way we think. We forget him."
Top scorer Diego Costa missed the win over Spurs through suspension and is expected to return for the trip to the north east and in the place of Didier Drogba, who marked his fifth start of the campaign with his fifth goal since returning to Chelsea.
"He's a team player firstly, after that he has an old-style mentality; not selfish, not vain, humble guy, plays for the team and fights for the team," Mourinho added.
"When he's on the bench and he comes to play the last couple of minutes because the team needs somebody to hold the ball he does that with the same enthusiasm and spirit which he starts the game with.
"The club want him to stay. I want him to stay so it will be his decision when he decides to stop as a player."