Sandesh Jhingan: It is a hard defeat to digest

Kerala Blasters FC succumbed to two injury-time goals, as they fell to a 2 – 0 defeat at the hands of Bengaluru FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. The Kerala defence managed to restrict a formidable attacking unit for almost the entirety of the match, before becoming undone in front of Miku and Udanta Singh’s dual strikes. The result means that Kerala finish their season campaign on a disappointing note and speaking to post the match was their captain Sandesh Jhingan. Here are the excerpts from his interview.

Your thoughts on the game?

Of course, it is a hard defeat to digest. We wanted some points on board. We wanted to get the three points because obviously, we wanted to give something back to the supporters, but also for the Super Cup. We needed some points to get in the race for the Super Cup. But we gave our best and yet, ended up as the losing side. I am really upset for the fans because the way they travelled for us is great, but we can’t change the results now. So let’s hope the other results go in our favour and we get direct qualification for the Super Cup. We got to prepare well for the Super Cup now.

Did the pressure of the game affect the result?

I don’t call this pressure. It’s the best thing. As footballers, when you are a professional footballer, these are the things you look forward to. It was a beautiful moment and it is a beautiful football ground. I have never seen this, but it is a passionate thing that they’re travelling and there is no pressure in this. It is a beautiful thing and it’s just that we didn’t score the goal, even though we had a chance. CK (Vineeth) had a chance and we couldn’t score. That’s just the hard reality of football, that if you don’t take your chances, you will lose your three points.

What went wrong towards the end?

They got a chance and scored. We got half of a chance and didn’t. This is football and when you don’t take your chances, someone else will take them. We had a chance and we missed, and they had a chance and they scored.

What kind of positives would you take from the game and the league?

I think, what I really like about my team is that though we didn’t have a good start, we showed our mentality and character to come off from there and finish the way we finished. In the second half of the season, we showed some really good positive results and that’s what I wanted from the team - the strong characters. This is the point that I have taken from them, so this team is very strong and you have got to work hard and aim for the Super Cup.

How would you approach the Super Cup?

There’s a knockout system so obviously, it’s different. But this makes it more exciting and every game is on the edge. So, we have to go for the kill in every game. I am looking forward to it and hopefully, we will be ready for it.

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