Moses Odubajo opens up on how Steve Bruce's departure affected his start to life at Sheffield Wednesday
A three-month break in all football activity has given Moses Odubajo the opportunity to take stock on what has been, by his own admission, a disappointing start to life at Sheffield Wednesday.
The 26-year-old full-back, who has earned plaudits for his honesty in assessing what he needs to do to prove himself at Hillsborough, came close to leaving the club in January after Owls boss Garry Monk told him in a private meeting that he would not stand in the way of his S6 exit.
He was brought to the club on a free transfer by Steve Bruce last summer, the manager who had earlier spent £3.5m to bring him to Hull City where the pair beat Wednesday in the 2016 playoff final.
Odubajo denied Bruce’s shock resignation as a factor in his turbulent start earlier in the season but given time to reflect in recent weeks opened up to The Star on what was an unsettling departure for him.
“Looking back it changed things a lot, more subconsciously,” he said. “Steve was a manager who trusted me and believed in me, even though I was coming off the back of time out.
“He trusted me to sign for such a big club and that gave me confidence, you know what you’re getting with your old managers.
“Him leaving with such short notice was a shock – I was worried that somebody could come in that didn’t like my style of football. That’s how football goes sometimes and you have to adapt the best way you can.”
He started well under caretaker boss Lee Bullen but fell out of favour under eventual Bruce replacement Monk after nightmare performances at Preston and Derby.
The defender, who regained his place in the line-up in late January after he was overlooked in favour of teenage rookie Osaze Urhoghide for the Owls FA Cup win at Brighton, described a positive relationship with Monk and reiterated his determination to put things right in the minds of supporters.
Questions have been asked of whether Monk’s tactics may have stifled the attacking instincts that Odubajo has built a reputation on, a notion the 26-year-old refutes.
“I’ve played all my career in a back four, just very open going forward and allowing both full-backs to push high and wide,” he said. “Every manager has their different tactics and the gaffer obviously has different tactics to others I’ve played with, they all do and that’s down to him.
“It doesn’t matter where I’m playing, I know what is asked of me and if I’m not doing that I won’t be selected at the end of the day.
“I’m not going to use that as an excuse. No matter what manager I’m playing for, if I’m not playing my best I won’t be selected.
“I said to myself whoever is in charge, I’ve got to go out and be the best that I can every day and that’s it.”