‘A big career ahead of him if...’ – Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor praises former Norwich City youngster

Dave Challinor was pleased to see Timi Odusina seize his moment in Hartlepool United’s 3-2 play-off win over Bromley on Sunday.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 6:00 am

The 21-year-old centre-back returned to the Pools starting line-up for the first time since the 4-2 defeat to Maidenhead United last month.

After being hauled off shortly after half-time against Maidenhead as Pools trailed 4-1, Odusina was dropped from Hartlepool’s final three matchday squads of the regular National League season.

But a late hamstring injury to Lewis Cass on the eve of the match saw the former Norwich City defender slot in on the right of the back three despite having almost no time to prepare.

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Timi Odusina celebrating for Hartlepool United (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Timi Odusina celebrating for Hartlepool United (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

And he ended up slotting in seamlessly between Gary Liddle and wing-back Jamie Sterry to help Pools progress to the play-off semi-finals.

“In adversity comes opportunity and use your disappointment as motivation,” Challinor said.

“As a young centre-half, my mentality would be ‘I’m never going to get beaten in the air again.’ You will but use it as motivation to make you better.

"[Odusina] is a young player, a baby for a centre-back in terms of him being 21 and his best years are ahead of him. You have to use the disappointment to make you a better player.

"He stepped in at the last minute right at the end of training after Cass pulled out and he’s done a great job for us. He’s got a big career ahead of him if he keeps wanting to improve and do what is required of him as a centre-back.”

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