MARCUS Browne's first goal for Middlesbrough appears to have ended any hopes Oxford United had of bringing the forward back for a third spell.

Boss Karl Robinson admitted earlier in the summer Browne, who has had loans with the U's in the past two seasons, was on his transfer wish-list.

It is thought they were continuing to monitor the situation closely - and the 22-year-old would fit the bill for the spot on the left which United are still trying to fill.

But after being surplus to requirements at Boro last season under Jonathan Woodgate, new boss Neil Warnock appears ready to give him a chance.

Also read: Karl Robinson holds back on public criticism of Oxford United

Despite watching Saturday's game with Bournemouth remotely after testing positive for coronavirus, the veteran urged his assistant Kevin Blackwell to get Browne on.

The former West Ham apprentice duly responded with a goal to earn a 1-1 draw.

Blackwell said: “Neil had a feeling and said, ‘Let’s have a look at Browney’, and it was a good shout."

The Boro No 2 went on to tell the Northern Echo: "What we want from Marcus is that energy.

“We know he’s quite quick over a few years, and we’ve been working on a bit of strength so he’s not too easily bullied off the ball. We don’t want that.

“He can move the ball and strike it though, so it’s just about him getting up to the tempo we demand.

"If he can do that, he definitely has a part to play.”