ISL 2017/18: David James backs Kerala Blasters captain Sandesh Jhingan amid reports of alcoholism
What's the story?
Life around the Kerala Blasters camp isn't all rosy at the moment, with the club losing yet another game in front of their home crowd and dropping to 7th position in the ISL. To make matters worse, the captain of "Indian Dortmund" has been accused of being an alcoholic by Blasters' former manager Rene Muelensteen.
Despite the shocking revelation made by the former Manchester United assistant coach, current Kerala manager David James has said following the team's 2-1 defeat to FC Goa, that he completely supports his captain and that he got what he wanted in terms of performance from the defender.
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Muelensteen had earlier slammed Jhingan for being unprofessional and drinking till 4 am following a 5-2 defeat against FC Goa earlier this season.
The heart of the matter
In the press conference, James made it clear that he wasn't an advocate of not drinking alcohol but highlighted the fact that he trusts his players and expects them to take care of themselves if they wish to play for the club.
"I haven't read all things. I did speak to Sandesh (about the news). I thought he (Jhingan) played well. I wasn't expecting anything more from him (in this game). In fact, he's improved," said James to the media. "That's what we wanted from the captain in terms of performance. See, if I wouldn't have known about the news before the game, I wouldn't have known after it."
Kerala Blasters fans would have been looking up after recent results turned out to be positive for the South Indian team, however, they've been rocked back yet again following another loss at home which keeps them struggling to keep up with the majority of the pack.
Kerala will look to get back to winning ways at home as they take on the Delhi Dynamos this Saturday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
While fans will be disappointed that their captain was accused of such wrongdoings, the support from the manager will give the team confidence and perhaps motivate them to perform better in the rest of the games.