Soosairaj wants happy 'homecoming' against Chennaiyin

Jamshedpur FC midfielder Michael Soosairaj has been blighted by injuries and illness after a bright start to his maiden Indian Super League campaign.

Soosairaj has three goals in 12 appearances this season.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

A hamstring injury and viral fever have derailed, to some extent, the fine run of winger Michael Soosairaj of Jamshedpur FC in the season-five of the Indian Super League.

Not the one to be weighed down by setbacks, the 24-year-old, is fully fit and is raring to take on Chennaiyin FC in their penultimate ISL match here on Saturday.

It is here in Chennai that Soosai’s career picked up momentum. After a stint with Arrows FC in the Chennai Football Association senior division league, he joined Chennai City FC in 2016. After Chennai City was given a direct entry into the I-League, he never looked back. Soosai had a great season for Chennai City, where he was adjudged the best midfielder in the I-League last year.

“I am excited to play at the home ground. It feels great to be back with friends and family. I feel happy, and mentally at peace. Chennai is my second home,” Soosai told Sportstar, after the training session at Sri Ramachandra Medical Hospital (Porur) here on Friday.

"But we are focused on winning. We need to win the next two matches to get a chance to play in play-offs.”

Soosai missed three matches due to fever. After a short break, he played as a substitute in the second half against Pune City in Jamshedpur’s last contest.

“I played full ninety minutes against Goa (away). Then I had a viral fever which took time to recover. It was difficult. I was in peak form then. I felt really bad. I also lost six kgs in five to six days. I am fully fit now,” he said.

Asking him about Chennaiyin’s [poor] form, which is languishing at the bottom of the table. “For Chennaiyin FC, the two-time ISL champion, I feel sad when people ask me why ‘my’ team is playing bad.”

His desire and drive to represent India continues unabated despite being overlooked in recent times. “I had hopes to be picked for AFC Asian Cup [in  Doha]. I thought I will be called for the National camp. I was disappointed,” he said.

According to him, the competition for position of left-wing in the National team is intense as there are lots of good players. "In my position, there are very talented players such as Ashique [Kuruniyan], [Lallianzuala] Chhangte and [Sunil] Chhetri bhai. We have to fight and come,” he said.