Relishing the life between the sticks, Modest Nidhin Lal focusing on the basics

Mumbai FC Captain Nidhin Lal

Mumbai FC’s shot stopper Nidhin Lal produced a jaw dropping performance to deny Bengaluru FC all three points and help Mumbai FC keep their unbeaten home record intact.

Having joined the club back in 2011, young Nidhin has now been able to establish himself as Mumbai FC’s No. 1 ahead of Kunal Sawant in the Mumbai FC goal.

Speaking to us after his heroics against Mumbai FC, Nidhin stressed on working hard on the basics, support from his coach Khalid Jamil and his delight at his own performance today.

1. You were superb yesterday, how are you feeling?
A: I am happy. In fact, I am very happy. It always feels good to help your team out. Today I am very happy that I was able to help my side with my saves and it feels good to be the Man of the Match.

2. What do you do to prepare yourself before the game?
A: We practice a lot. We train hard. It is important to do your basic stuff right and my main focus is on that. My coach has always supported and helped me. But there is nothing different that I do apart from practicing and training.

3. The defence has tightened up a lot more in the last few games. What have you been doing different in the last few games and on the training pitch?
A: Nothing very different. We have been training hard as usual. Our coach has not put us under any extra pressure and asked us to play our game. We have played a lot more at home and the support has helped us immensely and we are growing in confidence as a team. So that has ultimately helped us defend in a better manner. We have a great coach and he has helped us get better.

4. Can we say that now you are the first choice goalkeeper for Mumbai FC?
A: Yes I am the first choice. But I want to keep working hard. I am delighted that my coach has shown such a great faith in me and I am able to repay it through performances. And I know I will have to keep doing that as Kunal is also a very good goalkeeper and I will need to at my best to keep him out.

5. There is a break now. So how do you plan to spend it?
A: It’s good to have a break. We have been playing a lot of football, so a break always helps. I will go back home and I am going to enjoy a lot before I get back to training over here.

6. On a personal note, who is your closest friend among your team members?
A: All of them are my good friends. It’s difficult to pick one. Everyone here is nice and I enjoy a lot with this group of players. They are all good players and good human beings and I am good friends with all of them.

There is definitely more to come from this modest and jolly personality and there is no doubt that man from Tamil Nadu will be a key cog in the Mumbai FC set up in whatever this lot achieves this season.

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