Sheffield Wednesday ended a dire run of three straight league defeats by causing a huge upset in the FA Cup over the weekend.
The Owls won away at Premier League outfit Brighton in the third round, setting up a tie with divisional rivals Queens Park Rangers.
Adam Reach’s low deflected strike from a set-piece was the only goal separating the two teams.
The south Yorkshiremen went with a strong starting line up, but it came at a cost as top goalscorer Steven Fletcher was stretchered off with a knee injury while Graham Potter made resounding changes, naming an entirely new XI.
Liam Palmer once again was absent through injury, leaving Owls boss Garry Monk with a decision to make at right-back – would Dominic Iorfa shift across there for another match or would Moses Odubajo be re-introduced?
The 40-year-old made the bold call of starting academy prospect Osaze Urhoghide instead.
His performance was one of the brightest sparks in Wednesday’s glamourous showing, and it left Monk waxing lyrical about the 19-year-old starlet, he said:
“He should be very proud of himself. There are few things in football that are up there with seeing a young lad make his debut and start his journey with the club. The main thing is his attitude. He’s been with us quite regularly, he’s been in and out of our preparations and I felt he deserved that today. He’s got his rewards for his performances and his hard work. That should be an inspiration to the other younger players at the club and to himself.”
Odubajo wasn’t injured, although he hasn’t featured since being sent off against Derby County at the start of December. He was the man that allowed the Rams a late equaliser after he brought down Jack Marriott inside the penalty box.
Such mistakes have been an all too frequent occurrence with fans often taking a swipe at him on social media with the word ‘liability’ usually brandished.
And this latest omission can’t spell good things for the 26-year-old, who was only signed in the summer by ex-boss Steve Bruce.
Monk was hardly encouraging when speaking about his decision, he added: “They were the players left out. That’s my job. I’ve got to pick a team and that’s what it was today.”
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Given how well Urhoghide performed, as his manager has clearly stated, he could be a more frequent option for the Owls going forward, especially if Palmer faces further time on the sidelines.
The consequence is that Odubajo’s time at the club is surely wearing thin.
It is unknown how long he has left on his current contract, but you’d imagine this latest move suggests Monk doesn’t see him in his long-term plans.
While in other Hillsborough news, this January striker target must be avoided otherwise Wednesday will be facing another Sam Winnall situation…