Chelsea striker Diego Costa insists there was no malicious intent behind the stamp on Emre Can which earned him a three-match ban from the Football Association.
The 26-year-old was suspended for three games for violent conduct by the FA after an independent regulatory commission on Friday ruled he deliberately stamped on the ankle of the Liverpool midfielder in Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final second leg.
Costa says he accepts and respects the punishment, but stresses he did not set out to hurt his opponent.
"As far as what happened on Tuesday, the main thing is when I get home I can go home and I can go to sleep knowing that I've not done anything wrong, because I never meant to do that and it was not on purpose," he told the Daily Telegraph.
"And you can clearly see that on the video. But it is a suspension. I have to accept that, I have to take it. Obviously I feel sad because I'm not going to be able to help the team, to play. But I have accept it and respect it.
"I'm not saying I'm an angel. I'm no angel. You can see that. But every time I play I will play the same way because that's the way I am. That's what I need to do in order to support my family. That's my bread and butter. Also, that's what I need to do for this club and for the fans of this club, for the supporters and for all the people involved in this club.
"On the pitch I will always be like that. That's my character and I will always compete and compete – always. I'm a different guy off the pitch, as you can see, but on the pitch I will not change. And I want to say this again: you can look at the video and interpret it however you want, but I know when I get home I can sleep in peace because I know I didn't mean to do it."
Costa and Chelsea have no right to appeal, with the immediate ban meaning the forward missed Saturday evening's 1-1 draw against Manchester City and will also sit out matches against Aston Villa and Everton.
The former Atletico Madrid hitman believes the game has changed – not for the better – meaning less contact is allowed these days, but vowed not to change his style of play.
"I'm always loyal, I always go 100 per cent, I always go on the limit but I think the people that think that I am a violent player, it's because they interpret football a different way; they see it in a different way," he said. "Back in the old days there used to be way more contact and a lot of things that were permitted. These days everyone is looking at it and I don't think that is good for the game.
"I have a go at defenders and they have a go at me. We argue. Whatever happens on the pitch stays on the pitch. After the game I shake hands with the defender. Job done, I go home, he goes home. We're all mates. It's all good. That's how I see football. That's how I play football. I'm not going to change it – football is a contact sport."
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