How Sheffield Wednesday's Moses Odubajo remembers being on the winning side at Wembley 2016

This might be a bit of a curious anniversary for Sheffield Wednesday’s Moses Odubajo.

By Alex Miller
Thursday, 28th May 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th May 2020, 12:37 pm

On one hand, the wing-back is bound to look back on this day in 2016 as a career highlight, when in the shirt of Hull City he produced a lively performance down the right-hand side up against Fernando Forestieri and Daniel Pudil.

On the other, it was the closest his current club has come to promotion back to the Premier League in a generation. One Mohamed Diame goal was the difference between the promised land and the continuation of what is now 20 years of Owls hurt as Hull won the 2016 playoff final 1-0.

And speaking exclusively to The Star, the 26-year-old recalls the day as a blur of tactics, nerves and above all, of blue and white.

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“We knew first and foremost it was going to be a tough game,” he said. “At the time Hull played good football on the floor and we knew the boys up here would be in your face and work really hard.

“I remember coming out and seeing all those blue and white; flags, scarves, t-shirts, blue and white everywhere from the bottom tier right up to the tier at the top. I just thought 'this fanbase here is incredible’ and that if they were to go on to win it, that the celebrations would be crazy.

“Obviously, at the time, I was a Hull City player and I only had one goal in mind. I'd been in the situation before with Leyton Orient [Orient lost to Rotherham in the 2014 League One playoff final], I knew how it felt to be on the losing end and watching the other team walk up the stairs.

“I wanted to make sure I didn’t feel that pain again.”

Moses Odubajo, now of Sheffield Wednesday, played a key role in Hull City's win over the Owls in the 2016 Championship playoff final.

Odubajo, whose pace and adventure down the right were a constant threat to the Owls, has spoken of his desire to get his Wednesday career back on track after a difficult first few months since his arrival in the summer.

His signing reunited him briefly with Steve Bruce, the Hull boss on that day in 2016, and looking back on Odubajo’s Wembley outing, its that sort of exciting, energetic performance that he will want to deliver with more regularity when football resumes.

In Forestieri he was up against the division’s most exciting player and unfortunately for Wednesday, it’s a battle he won.

“I remember knowing Wednesday would try to dominate the ball,” Odubajo said. “It was two good footballing teams going head-to-head.

“Nando [Forestieri] was playing directly against me and I knew he wasn't necessarily going to defend and not run back. I had to be mindful, a player of his calibre, I didn't want to leave him behind me in case the ball breaks down and one pass to him causes a problem.

“Obviously they had Westy [Keiren Westwood] in goal and we knew he was a class shot-stopper.

“We had good experience in the dressing room and there was a belief there, it happened to be our day. The playoff final is the luck of the draw at the end of the day.”