ISL 2018-19: Seiminlen Doungel - Kerala Blasters are ready to face any team

The former NorthEast United forward feels that Kerala Blasters are strong enough to take on any team in the league...

With the Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19 opener in sight, Kerala Blasters forward Seiminlen Doungel is confident of his team's chances.

The former NorthEast United striker joined Kerala Blasters for the fifth edition of ISL and had featured in midfield against Melbourne City and Girona in the LaLiga tournament in July. 

"I am completely fit now and I am ready to give my best for Kerala Blasters. I am enjoying this place a lot. I enjoy how the fans support Blasters, I am really grateful for it. I want to improve as a player and score more goals (this season)," the 24-year-old Manipuri told Goal

Seiminlen Doungel Kerala Blasters

Doungel scored four goals, including a hattrick, for the Highlanders last season and is keen to improve his tally. However, he is ready to drop deep to play a box-to-box role if required. 

"As a team, we are tactically good. I can't explain it very deeply but I am also a part of the team's attack. I may drop deep to defend but I will also join the attack. We have two good strikers so I will be joining them. I will be moving up and down the field," he said.

Kerala Blasters will take on Kolkata-based ATK on Saturday in the opening game of the season in Kolkata and despite the strong squad assembled by their opponents, Doungel feels Blasters are ready to face the challenge. 

"The season has not started yet so I can't be 100 per cent sure but they are all good teams. ATK have a lot of experienced players. For now, I can't point out a team that will be difficult to beat. With all due respect, we're always ready to face any type of team."

The Highlanders had a torrid time last season, ending the league in a worst-ever tenth place. They are also the only team other than Jamshedpur FC to not gain a play-off spot since the inception of ISL. However, Doungel asserted that he did not leave because of the poor performances on the field. 

"I did not leave NorthEast United due to the team's performance. It is because, as a player, you want to experience more fans and new clubs and that is the reason why I left NorthEast United. I wish them good luck for this season."

Follow Nisanth V Easwar on  Twitter - @niktheblue94