Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque has again backed misfiring Chelsea striker Diego Costa after another frustrating evening in front of goal in their European Championship qualifier against Slovakia on Saturday. Costa, 26, has now scored just one goal in eight appearances since opting to play for La Roja over his native Brazil last year.
His club form has also taken a dip this season, having scored just once in the opening four games of the season for the Blues. Victory for Spain saw them leapfrog Slovakia into the top spot in Group C thanks to a penalty from Andres Iniesta and a header from Jordi Alba. While Costa did win the penalty for his side, he otherwise endured a fruitless evening before being substituted win 15 minutes of the contest remaining.
Having admitted Spain 'cannot be very happy' with his contribution in a recent during an interview with Cadena Cope, Del Bosque again threw his backing behind the former Atletico Madrid striker. He insisted Slovakia's defensive mentality would have made it hard for any player to find an opening.
"Of course I would like him to score but he did some good work," Del Bosque told reporters at his post-match press conference, Sky Sports report. "Against a team playing so defensively the player who has the most difficult job is the one in his position.
"He moved well, he kept the defenders busy. We have to be patient. A lot of the time when he gets the ball he has his back to goal."
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique also endured a peculiar evening after he was booed by some sections of the home support in Oviedo. "I find it disgraceful that there are people who whistle a national team player," Del Bosque added. "Gerard played fantastically well today."