I'm enjoying life with Mumbai FC - Nicholas Rodrigues

The midfielder claims to have found the club that recognises his peformance while ruing the involvement of politics in Goan teams...
Nicholas Rodrigues stated that he is "enjoying life" with Mumbai FC since joining the I-League outfit at the start of the 2010-11 season.

"I'm very happy here as there is no politics involved in the game," the 30-year-old told Goal.com.

The Goan has previously played for clubs such as Fransa Pax FC (now disbanded), Salgaocar FC, Churchill Brothers SC and Sporting Clube de Goa, but hasn't had much success with his former sides besides winning the I-League once with Churchill.

Nicholas Rodrigues has also made it among Goal.com's I-League team of the round nine, before previously making the elite list of round seven too.

"I'm happy that my hard work is reflecting in the form of my performance. Gabriel [Fernandes] (Mumbai FC team-mate) showed me [the article]. It shows that hard work pays off," he said.

I had to walk out from the Goan teams

"In most of the Goan teams, others tell [the coach] whom to field. That's not right. I'm not complaining, but talking through experience," he added.

"Even when I was with Churchill Brothers, Subhash Bhowmick didn't like politics and Zoran [Djordjevic] had to leave because there was no scope for hard work in front of Odafa [Okolie]," he stated.

Continuing to provide an example of Mumbai FC goalkeeper Luis Barreto who has moved on-loan from Goan soil, he said, "See the case of Luis Barreto. Everybody was underestimating him, but now he's winning here."

He was however quick to add a statement: "There is no politics with Dempo and that's why they are on top."

There's a reason why everyone respects Khalid Jamil

Mumbai FC were staring at the face of relegation when they began their current I-League campaign, having lost their opening four fixtures, but are now sitting pretty in the top half of the table following a string of good results which saw them collecting 13 points from a possible 15.

"It's all about team work, but it's more about the coach (Khalid Jamil)," Rodrigues attributed his team's success to his colleagues and gaffer. "He (Jamil) is very encouraging. Whenever we are down he keeps on telling us 'this is not the end'. If we lose, he always takes the blame on himself and that's why everyone respects him."

Rodrigues also hailed the contribution of Ghanaian striker Yusif Yakubu towards Mumbai FC's recent run of success in the league. "Experience counts. That why [Yusif] Yakubu is starting matches [ahead of ND Opara]. As soon as he (Yakubu) came, we started winning. After he arrived, we lost only one match, then we started moving on top."

Follow Anselm Noronha on 

How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.