Ruben Rodrigues says Tuesday night’s thunderbolt against Dagenham & Redbridge was the best goal of his professional career.
The Portuguese midfielder’s sweet strike doubled our lead against all odds as Michael Doyle watched on from between the sticks following Sam Slocombe’s dismissal.
And Rodrigues was thrilled with his contribution to one of the most memorable Meadow Lane matches in recent history.
“I’ve now scored 15 goals in my professional career and I can say this was my best one,” said Rodrigues.
“It was very enjoyable to play in a game like that – and to win it. To score and be important for the team is a good feeling, too. It was one of the best games I’ve ever played in.
“What the performance says about us is that we stick together, everyone does their job and wants to win the game. Everyone knows how important it is to work for each other.
“I think the lads that lost the play-off final last year are showing the fans that they really want to win promotion.”
Worryingly for opposition defences Rodrigues, whose 2019-20 season was cut short due to the pandemic, still doesn’t feel up to full speed fitness-wise.
“At the beginning of my time at Notts, I just wasn’t ready because I hadn’t played for seven months,” he said. “It was very tough.
“Around the 75th minute my legs have been getting heavy but against Dagenham – maybe because of the adrenaline – I felt fit, even though I had to do a lot of running.
“But it was tough and I’m still not there. I think I’m at 90-95% of my fitness. I have to do a little bit more cardio work to ensure I can get through a full 90 minutes playing well.
“If I can reach Tuesday’s levels every week, that would be nice.”