WHEN Moses Odubajo arrived at Hull City a little over two months ago, he admits took a little getting used to being thrust into a dressing room full of Premier League players.
After 12 months in the Championship with Brentford and four years at Leyton Orient, that was perhaps understandable.
Now, though, the defender feels part of things at the KC Stadium and is thriving ahead of tonight’s return to Griffin Park.
“No disrespect to Leyton Orient or Brentford – I wouldn’t be where I am today without them – but I am with Premier League players now,” said the 22-year-old.
“It is tough to come into a team like this and stand out straight away, but I feel like I am on my feet now. I feel comfortable, I feel as though every time I get the ball I am going to do something with it.
“I wouldn’t say it was playing on my mind, though maybe subconsciously it might have been. Maybe I was thinking if I gave the ball away at Hull, I might get shouted at or something.
“But now I feel like these are my team-mates. I share car lifts with most of them and I feel comfortable. That helps a lot, being comfortable around the players.”
Odubajo’s growing ease among his new surroundings has been evident in his performances.
After a steady start, the defender has become a key part of the Hull side in recent weeks with his link-play alongside Ahmed Elmohamady down the right flank having been a big feature of the recent run of good results.
Fans of former club Brentford should see that all-round improvement for themselves tonight as the £3.5m summer signing looks to extend the Tigers’ unbeaten run to 11 games.
“I am looking forward to it in one way, but not in another,” he said when asked about returning to face the Bees at Griffin Park.
“It is a nice ground where the fans are very passionate.
“I would like to see how they will treat me but, fingers crossed, hopefully it will be a good reception. Though you never know.
“I am enjoying it at Hull. This is my big chance of getting into the Premier League.
“Anyone would say I have got a good chance here so we have just got to keep doing it right and winning games. This league has a lot of ups and downs.”
Born and raised in Greenwich and then spending time with two London clubs, moving to Yorkshire was a big culture shock in the summer for the 22-year-old.
Odubajo added: “I wouldn’t say it was a no-brainer coming here because last year was probably the best season of my career.
“The confidence I had playing at Brentford was unbelievable.
“When the move came about I had to have a deep think about it. I felt it was the right move and now it is starting to pay off.
“Life is good off the pitch, too. It was difficult because I am a city boy and, to me, this is the countryside. But I am used to it now and just getting on with it. As long as I am playing well, I couldn’t care less about things off the field.”
Odubajo’s last appearance for the Bees came in last May’s Championship play-off semi-finals, as Middlesbrough ended any hopes of promotion with a comprehensive victory over two legs.
Since moving to the KC Stadium, he has helped Hull to the best defensive record in English football – Steve Bruce’s men having conceded just eight goals in 14 league games this term.
Last six ganes: Brentford LLWWWW, Hull City WDWWDW.
Referee: G Ward (Surrey).
Last time: Brentford 2 Hull City 1; August 24, 2010; League Cup.