ISL 2017-18: David James - Nothing bad about Sandesh Jhingan, his conduct is superb

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The Kerala Blasters boss remarked that he is yet to see the Indian defender reach his full potential from what he envisaged three years ago...

Kerala Blasters touched down in Kolkata in hopes of securing three points over a disintegrated ATK in the 2017-18 Indian Super League (ISL). Four wins in their last six games for the southern side have propelled hopes of making it into the playoffs after David James took over from Rene Meulensteen.

James, who was with the Yellows in the first edition of the ISL as player-manager returned back after the Dutchman's exit. Soon after his sacking, Meulensteen, a former assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United accused defender Sandesh Jhingan of unprofessional behaviour during his stint.

James was asked what he made of Jhingan's behaviour in the last few weeks after the incident. "The person who made those allegations were there themselves and possibly had the opportunity to take control of the situation," the former Liverpool goalkeeper took a dig at Meulensteen.

He added, "However, when I arrived, the first person I met was Sandesh, obviously, he is club captain. I explained to him that from year one, I expected him to be the best Indian player to come out of the ISL. I told him I haven't seen that. I was expecting him to improve."

"I think that what he has done since I have been here is help himself. What I have seen is a man grow massively.  The allegations weren't just nationwide but it was international news actually and he had to deal with it and he dealt with it."

Kerala Blasters incidentally will not have the services of the Punjab-born centre back on Thursday as he serves a one-game suspension after having picked up his fourth yellow card of the season against Pune City last Friday.

"It gets frustrating when you get suspended for bookings. He is one of those players with his character, his experience is a big influence in the changing room. He has travelled though."

Lastly, the former England international believed that the episode will only make Jhingan stronger and people will get to see a better version of him soon, as he had no complaints about his professionalism.

"There is nothing bad about him and his conduct have been superb. He is looking to improve and I think I am going to see the player I wanted to see three years ago," he concluded.

 

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