Why Middlesbrough's win at Wycombe was extra special for Marcus Browne as playmaker opens up on Oxford United loan move and injury setback

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Middlesbrough’s 3-1 win at Wycombe on Saturday was extra special for playmaker Marcus Browne – and not only because he got on the scoresheet.

The 23-year-old marked his first league start of the season by scoring the equaliser at Adams Park, heading home Paddy McNair’s corner.

Browne has been on the fringes of Boro’s squad since joining the Teessiders from West Ham in 2019 and was loaned out to former club Oxford last season.

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After scoring five goals in 14 appearances for the Us, Browne’s loan spell ended in disappointment as Oxford were beaten 2-1 by Wycombe in the League One play-off final.

Marcus Browne marked his first league start of the season with a goal at Wycombe.Marcus Browne marked his first league start of the season with a goal at Wycombe.
Marcus Browne marked his first league start of the season with a goal at Wycombe.

Speaking to the press after Boro’s win at Adams Park, Browne admitted: “It was a special one after losing to this lot in the play-off final.

“Massive credit to the boys, it was going to be tough and the boys played their part, won the individual battles."

“The gaffer told us four up top to express ourselves and win the game.”

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Despite that defeat in the play-off final, Browne believes a second loan spell at Oxford was the right move for his career.

The playmaker now believes he’s been given a fresh start at Boro under Neil Warnock and is looking forward to the second half of the campaign.

“Going on loan was the most beneficial thing for me at the time,” said Browne.

“I found my confidence again, started to enjoy my football again and I said at the start of the season it was a clean slate for me with a new gaffer and everything that comes with it.

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“Thankfully we got off on the right foot, I'm just putting the work in and doing my best to keep playing.”

Browne has endured a frustrating season so far, though, after injuring his hamstring back in November.

It came after the player had impressed Warnock in training and was being considered for a starting place.

“It's been tough. It took me a long time to settle. Just when I felt I was on the verge of playing and felt strong and good about myself, that's when I got the injury,” said Browne.

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“Throughout my injury the gaffer was still putting his confidence and trust in me. He was talking to me all the time and my confidence levels at the moment are where they should be.

“Coming here and scoring and getting my first start of the season, it means a lot to me. I feel like I'm becoming myself more, there's definitely more to come.”

Despite the injury setback, Browne says he always felt part of the group and that he had a future at Boro.

“The gaffer was in constant conversation, you're still in and around the boys every day,” Browne revealed.

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“The gaffer doesn't push you to the side, you're in meetings every day, around the boys every day, it's pretty much the same.”

During his rehab Browne was caught on camera showing off his dance moves in the gym, a video which was posted on team-mate Ashley Fletcher’s Instagram story.

“Things like that just go to prove I'm in a good place,” added Browne. “You wouldn't have seen that last season, I'd have been in the dressing room with my head down.

“The lads are all in a good place.”

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