Want to win against Bengaluru FC for Kerala Blasters FC fans: Captain Jessel Carneiro

Jessel Carneiro, the captain of Kerala Blasters FC did not perform as well as he would have liked last season. But the 31-year-old understands his responsibility as a skipper and senior player and is determined to make a mark on the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season.

The left-back joined Kerala Blasters in 2019. He was one of the standout performers in the Hero ISL 2019-20 campaign as he assisted five goals, made 28 tackles, 22 interceptions, 78 clearances, and 22 blocks.

In the following season, he was named the vice-captain and after an injury to Sergio Cidoncha around mid-season, the armband was passed to Carneiro.

Ahead of Kerala Blasters FC’s match against Bengaluru FC at Athletic Stadium, Bambolim on Sunday, indiansuperleague.com got in touch with Carneiro for an exclusive interview where he spoke on the new responsibility, the rivalry with Bengaluru FC and the battle with Udanta Singh on the pitch.

Here are the excerpts from the exclusive interview.

What’s your take on the rivalry between Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC?

These kinds of matches give you the fire to push yourself. It’s an opportunity to give something back to our fans. For me, I had heard some chants by the opposition fans but of course we can’t reply to them. What we can do is give our fans the feeling of victory. So, yeah I am looking forward to it.

Udanta has been in good form this season. How are you preparing to face him?

To be honest, I don’t focus on one player. But I have played a couple of times against Udanta. He is a good player. He has got speed but I have experience. So, it will be speed versus experience. I am up for the challenge. I will give my best. It will be a healthy competition.

Leading into the match against Bengaluru FC what’s your message to the fans?

It’s going to be a tough match. But we will go out there and give our best. We will play our hearts out. We will step on the field with the right mentality and character to show what kind of team we are. Fans can expect a good match, and hopefully we come out victorious.

How do you look at the two matches that Kerala Blasters have played so far?

We didn’t expect the result of the first game. But the team has moved on. It’s getting its confidence back. We have to focus on the upcoming fixtures. Hopefully, we will get the three points and build some momentum.

How do you look at your role as captain and senior player in the team?

Being the captain of Kerala Blasters FC itself is a very big thing for me. My role is to keep the players motivated and encouraged. With respect to players who are older than me, they have played at big levels. They are professionals who know how to motivate themselves. They also help out other team members. I am proud to be the captain of Kerala Blasters FC.

What’s your take on the Kerala Blasters FC squad this season?

I think the squad has a good mix of young and experienced players. We are gelling very well. The coach is playing a good part and everybody enjoys his training sessions. The coaching and management staff is showing confidence in us. The club Kerala Blasters FC is very special.

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