For Syed Rahim Nabi, the chance to play under new coach Armando Colaco has been an enjoyable so far. "His philosophy involves a lot of short passing which is always fun. Coach (Bob) Houghton was also good but I like this form better. The best thing about Armando sir is that he knows every player and their best positions," Nabi said, after a practice match against Western Command at the Ambedkar Stadium here on Saturday. The India probables won 8-0.
"Back then (under Houghton), we were used to playing 4-4-2 but now there's more experimenting. We've been playing a lot of serious matches to get accustomed to playing again after the I-League season ended."
For Nabi, positions have never been a constant having played as a forward, central midfielder, wide midfielder and wingback.
Nabi was used as left-back by Houghton in the Asian Cup finals. He said his versatility benefited him and the team.
"If a player can play in a lot of positions and fill in the gaps well, then it's an asset to the coach and an advantage for himself. I've been worked hard at that and now I'll probably used as a left-half," said the latest Mohun Bagan recruit who switched allegiance after seven seasons with East Bengal.
Nabi also seemed confident about the World Cup qualifiers against the UAE on July 23 and 28.
"The last time we played them (India lost 0-5), we had a lot of injuries but the preparation has been good this time. They are strong, do a lot of hard work and chase the ball constantly.
"We should have good outing against them though."
And who's the one player he loves sharing the pitch with at the camp?
"Everyone here is talented, that's why they're here. But I like having Mehtab (Hossain) around, he's great to combine with."