Michael Appleton was thrilled Oxford United’s pat-ience paid off after they finally clinched the signing of Junior Brown last night.
The 25-year-old winger, who can play on either flank, provides a much-needed extra option to the squad’s attacking department.
Brown was available after falling down the pecking order at Fleetwood Town, who yesterday agreed to terminate the remainder of his contract.
Appleton rates the former Crewe Alexandra trainee highly, but has had to bide his time before finally securing the deal.
United’s head coach said: “We’ve been aware of it for a couple of weeks, but unless it’s absolutely inevitable it’s going to happen you’ve just got to stay calm and stay patient.
“We’ve done that and we’re delighted to get him on board.”
Appleton added: “He’s gone through a frustrating period in his career, which is fine. We all do and I think he’s desperate to come and not necessarily prove a point, but show people there is certainly still life in Junior Brown.
“I’m looking forward to that, the season before last, for me, he was the best player in the division.
“That’s the type of player we’re inheriting.”
Brown, who also provides cover at left back, will make his debut tomorrow, when United host Bournemouth at the Kassam Stadium in the final friendly of pre-season.
He was part of the Fleetwood squad which won promotions from the Conference in 2012 and League Two last season.
But he finished the campaign on loan at Tranmere Rovers and has remained outside of boss Graham Alexander’s plans in pre-season.
It means Brown arrives without any injuries, but severely lacking match fitness.
Appleton said: “He’s trained all the way through pre-season and done double sessions, but he’s not played any minutes.
“So you’re not going to see the best of Junior Brown until at least the end of August.
“He’ll be involved, we’ve just got to make sure we don’t put ourselves in the position where ends up getting an injury.”
The deal leaves United’s recruitment search purely focused on bolstering one area – strikers.
Appleton said: “We’re in discussions with a couple of players at the minute.
“To be honest it’s not the players who are the stumbling blocks, it’s probably the clubs they’re coming from.
“That happens, if we were going to let a player out on loan or leave we’d want to make sure it’s in the best interests of the kid.”
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
8:30am Wednesday 1st July 2015
THE number of young people self-harming in the county has risen by more than 100 in a year.
9:21pm Wednesday 1st July 2015
THE Mayor of Wantage tonight said he was "amazed" after a controversial retirement apartments scheme for the town was approved.
5:34pm Wednesday 1st July 2015
A MAN was taken to hospital after a crash between a car and a motorcycle this morning.
5:24pm Wednesday 1st July 2015
Trains have been cancelled on First Great Western services between Oxford and Worcester Shrub Hill due to a broken down train.
5:19pm Wednesday 1st July 2015
TRAFFIC jams are this evening causing delays for bus passengers in Oxfordshire.
3:20pm Wednesday 1st July 2015
THE police helicopter was scrambled into action after a motorist stopped on suspicion of using his phone at the wheel fled from traffic officers.