MARCUS McGuane says that remaining committed and supportive behind the scenes was crucial when he found himself dropped from the Oxford United squad.

The 25-year-old midfielder was left out of the first four matchday squads in the aftermath of United’s 5-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers in March.

U’s head coach Des Buckingham sought to implement his style of football, setting the team up in a 4-3-3 formation, with a single six in midfield and two creative midfielders pushed higher up the pitch.

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McGuane worked his way back into the team when Cameron Brannagan missed out through injury, for the 5-0 win at home to Peterborough United.

Josh McEachran stepped into Brannagan’s role as the deepest midfielder against the Posh, with McGuane replacing McEachran for the final quarter of an hour.

From there, McGuane made further substitute appearances against Lincoln City and Exeter City before the end of the regular campaign.

In the second leg of the play-off semi-finals against the Posh, McGuane came on for the injured Tyler Goodrham after 32 minutes, adding box-to-box energy and drive.

He played a similar role in the Sky Bet League One play-off final at Wembley, coming off the bench when Brannagan was forced off with 64 minutes on the clock.

Oxford Mail:

McGuane said: “It’s been a couple of difficult months, but for me, the main thing was getting behind the boys.

“We all had the same goal, so it was just about getting behind the boys and being supportive, and doing the best I can do behind the scenes, and training hard. I think that’s been the main thing for me.

“You want to play every game, but things happen. The boys have been fantastic and done really well, and when the team’s playing well, you can’t really complain.

“We had the same end goal, so to come on and see the smile on all the fans’ faces, and make dreams come true, is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”