ISL 2018-19: David James – Blatant wrong decisions have hurt our season

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David James Kerala Blasters
The former Manchester City goalkeeper heaped praise on the performance of Sahal Samad…

Kerala Blasters were once again at the receiving end of poor refereeing as Jamshedpur FC were awarded a penalty in the second half. This was when Tim Cahill was fouled outside the box by an onrushing Dheeraj Moirangthem.

Carlos Calvo converted from the spot to put the visitors into the lead before Seminlen Doungel scored the equaliser.

“I would love to say that it is the first time this season that a decision went blatantly wrong. It is not about blaming individuals for being wrong It has been a constant theme this season, I can't moan about it. A lot of fans didn't come and that is because of the position that we were in. We scored a legitimate goal and got undone by a decision which was never a penalty. 

“A couple of weeks ago we had a bit of a get-together. Today was a three-point game. Like Delhi (Dynamos), they go one nil up from an offside goal. It is difficult as a head coach to prepare people for these kinds of games even if we have bad referees in training,” said coach David James.

The English coach further stated that the performance against Jamshedpur was their best this season.

“When players give 100 per cent, you expect 100 per cent from the decision makers. It is the possibly the best we have played. They are decent ball players.  A little bit of composure in front of goal (needed).

Everybody did everything right from a team point of view,” he mentioned.

Sahal Abdul Samad Kerala Blasters Jamshedpur FC ISL 5

“The change (in our approach and performance) happened before Chennaiyin FC game. We know the position that we are in. The second half was a lot better against Chennaiyin. Today was an improvement on what we did in the second half against Chennaiyin. I was buzzing with what I had seen,” he further explained.

Sandesh Jhingan was deployed as a right-back and the former Mumbai FC player didn’t disappoint as he thumped in several crosses.

“Year one, Sandesh played everywhere – left-back, right-back. Sandesh didn't start our last game and given the injuries, it was a choice to put him in midfield or at right-back. For India, he plays central defence.  He did a lot of running today, more so than he would have done if he played as a centre-back. It is definitely an option to play him at right-back,” said James.

The 48-year-old was impressed with the performance of young Sahal Samad who came close to scoring after his effort came off the woodwork.

“The plan for Sahal was 90 minutes. We had to put Matej (Poplatnik) on due to his pace. Sahal is a very gifted young player. He is part of the future for Kerala Blasters. He loved pressure and every day he has got on a smile on his face,” he said.

James also defended the performance of Moirangthem in goal.

“Dheeraj is also very young. Once he had the chance, he was solid,” he observed.

With nine points from 10 games, James was asked if Blasters could still go on to qualify for the play-offs.

“If I felt that we didn't have a chance (for the play-offs), I would be fielding young players so that they get the experience of playing in the ISL.”