Diego Simeone insists his faith in Diego Costa is unwavering due to the striker's work rate, even as a missed penalty cost Atletico Madrid two points at Sevilla.
Atleti recovered from a first-half deficit to draw 1-1, thanks largely to the introduction of Costa and his nuisance factor from the bench at half-time.
The former Chelsea star had a goal disallowed shortly before Alvaro Morata equalised, but he then passed up the opportunity to clinch victory and send Simeone's men top of LaLiga.
Tomas Vaclik denied Costa from 12 yards, meaning he has still scored just twice in all competitions this season.
Simeone came to his player's defence, though, saying: "Diego is at his best physical moment, taking care of himself, training, working. He works but can't find the goal.
"When someone works like Diego, there are two options: either you are with Costa or not with Costa. If you give your all, like Costa, I trust him."
Sevilla likewise could have moved to LaLiga's summit with a victory, with Barcelona beaten at Levante earlier in the day, and Simeone believes Julen Lopetegui's side can be a threat this season.
"I see them doing very well. They always compete well," he said. "They have many players, a deep squad, which means they can make changes.
"They had two injured midfielders. Fernando did not play today. If they are consistent, they will compete."
However, midfielder Koke was frustrated Atleti were not able to beat Sevilla, believing their second-half performance – with Costa in the side – deserved to be rewarded.
"Especially in the second half, we did enough to win the game," he said. "There was a goal disallowed, we had a penalty, we created chances. We left two points on the field in such a complicated game.
"We have to continue working as we did in the second half. We recovered from the Sevilla goal and, in the second half, they had absolutely nothing. This is the standard – we have to keep working.
"We want victories because LaLiga is a bit strange, the big teams are not winning games, but we have to keep working."