Marcus Browne has suggested that a combination of Middlesbrough’s poor form in the first half of the season, and Jonathan Woodgate making changes to the side contributed to his lack of form for ‘Boro.
The attacking midfielder made the move to the Riverside in the summer from West Ham United, having enjoyed a very successful loan spell at Oxford United in League One last season, but he was limited to just 13 goalless appearances during the first half of the campaign with ‘Boro.
That was often down to Woodgate bringing in him in and out of the starting line-up, rather than allowing him the chance to develop some consistency with a run in the side, which led to Boro deciding to allow him to re-join Oxford on loan for the rest of the campaign in January.
Browne has managed to re-discover some of the form he showed last season at the League One club, going on to score four goals and provide four assists for Karl Robinson’s side in 11 appearances in the league since he re-joined them from Middlesbrough.
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Speaking to the Oxford Mail, via Teesside Live, Browne suggested that he struggled to adapt to life at Middlesbrough and show his best form, given the amount of changes Woodgate was being forced to make to his starting line-ups.
He said: “There’s more to it than that. There’s the stuff that goes on that’s not seen.
“You go through difficult times in football and for me, the first half of the season was probably one of them.
“I struggled to stay in the team at Boro, I was in, I was out.
“The team wasn’t doing so well and getting changed quite often, so for me it was difficult.”
Browne arrived at Middlesbrough in the summer with a growing reputation due to his excellent form at Oxford last season, and it was hoped that he would be able to come in and provide some extra attacking quality for Boro as they looked to develop a more attack-minded style of play.
However, given all of the changes at Boro over the summer, it was never going to be an easy task for a new player to come in and perform to their highest levels, and Browne was one of a number of players who struggled during the first half of the campaign.
That saw him often be given a chance to come into the side for a game or two, only to be then dropped for a few weeks after he had failed to make much of an impact, which made it very challenging for him to get into any sort of momentum.
The attacking midfielder has managed to re-find his form again back at Oxford, and he will be hoping to continue that form when the season can resume, which will then see him return to the Riverside with renewed confidence in the summer.