Ruben Rodrigues is settling into life in Nottingham and the National League midst difficult times right now and hopes to play a huge part in Notts County’s match with Wealdstone this evening after coming off the bench to score a stoppage time leveller against Chesterfield on Saturday before providing the winner for Kyle Wootton in what was a dramatic finale in Derbyshire.
Rodrigues will hope to start at Meadow Lane after an impressive cameo last time out and the Dutch playmaker aged 24, has two goals in his last 180 minutes of football, which suggests he’s certainly a man, growing in confidence and on form.
Rodrigues says he’s settling in well at Notts, living with team-mate Richard Brindley who’s currently looking after him, he’s made friends with lowlands pals Enzio Boldewijn and Elisha Sam but admits moving to a new country during lockdown has been tough.
“It is tough, I’m a family guy so miss my parents and brothers, but we chat on WhatsApp and I call my mum sometimes so we still stay in contact but not face to face.”
Prior to lockdown the Portuguese born Dutch star stated he was getting to know Nottingham having been to “Nandos, Coco Tang, Hooters and even Shooters to play pool” but over the last few weeks restriction has lead him to playing video games from home like FIFA 21 and working out in the gym where his apartments are situated.
When asked on the style of play in the National League, Rodrigues commented in comparison to Dutch football “It’s different, because what they expect you to do now is think more defensively than attacking, and I’m an attacking type of player, so I had to adapt the game a bit, work harder.”
Coming to terms with the rough and tumble of English non-league from the technical levels of the Dutch Eerste Division where he played for Den Bosche 27 times last season, scoring 12 goals, was always going to be difficult to adapt over night, especially during pressing times, but Rodrigues has shown he has the style and audacity to cause National League defenders problems which he did so against Chesterfield in particular.
That victory, and performance last weekend gave a young guy new to the club and country some much-needed confidence, saying “after the game everybody came to me and thanked me so it was really nice, it boosted up my confidence and I needed that a little bit because I’ve been a bit rough lately, so I’m happy to get appreciation from the staff”.
Rodrigues said of his own start to his Notts career “I think I started good, I was a bit down when I didn’t start against Dover, but I played against Barnet. I’ve been playing well but the consistency must be a bit higher because the first half I’ve been playing well but the second half I drop a little bit, but two goals and one assist I think it’s been going good”.
Rodrigues is certainly a young man with growing confidence, a cheeky chap who wants to do well and is one that is prepared to work hard off the pitch whilst having fun off it (when allowed), but in needing time to settle he hopes to build the trust of his manager to get more game time, by which time we hope even more goals and assists will come.
Notts and Rodrigues who hopes to start tonight, face Wealdstone at Meadow Lane in a 7:45pm kick off with the match available to watch on iFollow.
*Main image @Official_NCFC Rodrigues in action, when he’s not playing FIFA or visiting Nandos.