KEVIN O'Connor admits he had no time to forge a partnership with Harlee Dean after being thrown in as emergency centre-back at Hartlepool yesterday.
The Brentford club captain, normally a midfielder, was drafted in at the back after the Bees failed to have Tony Craig's red card at Sheffield United overturned.
Switching to a new position in such a crucial game would be challenging enough, but O'Connor had to do it after making just one substitute appearance since November due to injury.
However, the Bees' veteran did not look at all out of place, with his only worrying moment earning a yellow card after Luke James was brought down on the edge of the area.
O'Connor said: “I've never started at centre-back before, although I was moved there once during a game against Morecambe under Terry Butcher when John Mackie went off injured. That's nearly the full set now – I just need to go in goal!
“The manager had said before, when Liam Moore was recalled by Leicester, that he had me in mind as centre-back cover, so I had an idea I might be playing there as soon as Tony was sent off.
“But it was only in training on Friday that I found out I would be playing there today, so we didn't have any time to work on anything as a partnership.
“To be honest, we all thought the red card would be overturned as Tony is adamant he didn't do anything. I was hoping it would be as Tony has been immense for us at centre-back.
“It was unfortunate picking up the yellow as I knew I was out there as a centre-back and couldn't make any 50-50 challenges from then on. I just left them to Harlee – he's younger and fitter than me anyway!”