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.”

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