DES Buckingham is happy with the way Marcus McGuane responded to being left out of four matchday squads, prior to his return at the weekend.

The midfielder was the high-profile absentee as Buckingham sought to implement his style of football at Oxford United in the aftermath of the 5-0 hammering at Bolton Wanderers.

The U’s have since played in a 4-3-3 set-up, with a single six in midfield and two creative midfielders pushed high up the pitch.

Brannagan had operated as the deepest midfielder until he missed the weekend’s mauling of Peterborough United due to injury.

Josh McEachran stepped in for Brannagan, allowing a return to the squad for McGuane, who appeared as a substitute against the Posh when he replaced Ruben Rodrigues for the final quarter of an hour.

READ ALSO: Des Buckingham on contract situation of red-hot Josh Murphy

United head coach Buckingham said: “Bolton is a bit of a scar for everybody. We had to make changes, and my job is to try and find ways to perform the way we need to, and get the results we want.

“We made a change after Bolton, and that obviously affected Marcus and a couple of others. He’s been very good behind the scenes and worked extremely hard.

“Because of that, it was about trying to find an opportunity to bring him back because we know the qualities he has.

“He’s shown that, certainly in the first part of the season. With what’s to come, he will certainly contribute towards that.

“It’s important that he keeps doing what he’s done, and I’ve said it many a time, it’s a very close group of people, but you have to be fair and judge the people that have gone in front of him on performance.”