Sandesh Jhingan focussed on job at hand

One of six players retained by Kerala Blasters for the upcoming season, Sandesh Jhingan looked forward to the buzz of the ISL that he said provides a kick in comparison with the I-league. "The crowd brings out the best in me. Personally it was a good learning curve for me. I learnt a lot from my fellow foreign players," he said in a chat with Sportstar

'The difference between ISL and I-league is obviously the crowd and the excitement it brings in': Sandesh Jhingan   -  The Hindu

Kerala Blasters has only retained a handful of players from the side that finished as runner-up in the inaugural edition of ISL. The tall, sure-footed defender Sandesh Jhingan was one among the six players retained by the Kerala side. The 21-year-old won the ISL’s emerging player award last season and was one of the brightest players on the field for the Kochi-based side.

An international, Sandesh made a good comeback into the Indian team after an injury. He was one of the few Indian players who did well in the World Cup qualifier against Iran, though the team lost 3-0.

In a start-stop injury-hit career, Sandesh said he is now focussed on doing well for his team Kerala Blasters in the season ahead. "I only look at short-term goals. My immediate concern is to do well for Kerala Blasters in the inaugural match against Kolkata on October 6. Then I have a World Cup qualifier coming up against Turkmenistan. I am not thinking anything beyond that,’’ said Sandesh.

"Injuries are part and parcel of the game. It is something which is beyond my control. But the ISL was a quite an experience for me. As a player you long to play before a capacity crowd. I was quite thrilled to play in front of huge crowds in Kochi and in Kolkata. The crowd brings out the best in me. Personally it was a good learning curve for me. I learnt a lot from my fellow foreign players. The difference between ISL and I-league is obviously the crowd and the excitement it brings in,’’ he said.

The ace defender said Kerala Blasters is a better side when compared to last season and the boys had put in a lot of hard work to do better this season. "It is a relatively new team. Obviously, there will be a lot of expectations on us. But I think we are well equipped to excel this time. I don’t think we will be under any pressure. But I think our opponents will struggle to play to their potential in our home matches against a partisan crowd which will be rooting for us,’’ he said.

"Coach Peter Taylor is doing a great job. The plans are different this time. Last year we didn’t score many goals, but we also didn’t let in many and this year I think we will be playing a lot more positive and attractive football,’’ Sandesh remarked.

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