Callum Hudson-Odoi now has an FA Cup goal this season to add to the one he scored in the Carabao Cup back in September in his comeback game from injury, and he revealed afterwards that he had a feeling Sunday’s game against Nottingham Forest would be his day.
It was the 19-year-old’s early goal that set the team on the way to a third-round victory against Forest and it was a save from a Hudson-Odoi shot which led to Ross Barkley scoring the second in a 2-0 victory.
‘It was a good performance,’ praised Frank Lampard on Hudson-Odoi’s showing after the game. ‘It was a nice step forward for him. The next challenge will be the next time he plays. Can he do that, can he do more? Can he keep sustaining that improvement?’
The player himself agreed it was a confidence boost.
‘At the start I thought it could be my day,’ Hudson-Odoi said. ‘You just need to be confident and be yourself, go out there and try to get the goal as quick as possible and we did that.
‘Personally it is a big boost for me because it just pushes you throughout the game. You feel more confident and you want to do stuff and try new things and the goal came early which I am delighted about. I am pleased with how the game went, and I am very happy that we got the win.
‘I have been a bit agitated,’ he admitted about the three-month gap without a goal, ‘thinking to myself that I have had chances and I need to convert more of them, be more clinical in front of goal, so in this game I thought to myself, hit it low and hard. Recently I have been thinking be patient, the goal will come if you be yourself, be calm, everything will go your way. I am really happy that I got the goal and I am looking to build on it and keep going.
‘But it is not just about the goal, it is about helping the team, working hard, keeping the ball, and overall I am happy with how everything went.’
Hudson-Odoi began the game on the right-hand side which meant he was playing in front of another young player in Reece James.
‘Me and Reece have been playing together with each other for years, since the age of Under-8s and Under-9s,’ he pointed out, ‘so we have always had that little link-up together and we really enjoy playing with each other. It showed in this game that every time we got the ball we were looking for each other. Sometimes it causes other teams problems so we want to keep linking up together and create as many chances as possible.’
There was one scare in the game when Hudson-Odoi went down in pain and needed treatment, but he had good news on his fitness at the end.
‘Everything is alright. The player trod on my Achilles which was a bit painful but now it feels alright.
‘Fitness wise I am good. Sometimes when you don’t start a game for a long time you feel a bit fatigued but in this game I felt really good and it was not a problem for me.’