Michael Doughty produced another top-draw performance to help guide Swindon to a 2-0 victory over Scunthorpe United on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old was instrumental in the heart of midfield and helped The Robins dictate possession against a disciplined and organized Scunthorpe side.
They proved very hard to break down and Swindon spent large portions of the game retaining the ball in the first two thirds of the pitch.
However, Doughty had the cutting edge and imagination to break Scunthorpe’s resistance and he played an influential role in both goals.
The former Queens Park Rangers midfielder was deployed in a more attacking role last season. He scored 14 goals and registered 5 assists in 33 appearances for The Robins but Richie Wellens has opted to tweak his role this term.
Wellens described him as his “best player for the past three of four games” earlier this month.
He revealed: “He’s gone onto the pitch with the mentality of knowing he’s going to do all the ugly stuff.
“He’s going to win second balls – because some of the conditions we’ve played in recently haven’t been great – and when he’s done that, he’s great.
“I’m really pleased for him at the moment.”
Doughty has one goal and seven assists under his belt this season and he is also noticing the benefits of his positional change.
“I’m enjoying it. If I look back at the 250-odd games I’ve played in my career I’ve probably played more in that position than anywhere else,” he said.
The midfielder continued: “At Swindon, fans know me more in a forward role which is a role I enjoy and can be productive in terms of goals and assists.
“This year I’m enjoying all parts of it. I think it’s helped me become a more rounded footballer.”
Doughty clearly has a team-orientated mentality and his performances have helped Swindon move three points clear at the top of League Two.
Swindon are unbeaten in their last eleven league games at the County Ground and look in no mood to slow down their momentum during the business end of the season.
“To be a part of that and to have the trust of the manager and my fellow teammates to go out there every week is a great feeling,” he said.
The arrival of Anthony Grant from Shrewsbury Town in September has also reunited a formidable partnership which blossomed during their spell together at Peterborough United in 2017/18.
Grant has been a fantastic addition to the team and his experience, vision and positional awareness has added another dimension to their play.
Doughty was very pleased with his arrival and revealed:
“Anthony and I started the partnership when we were at Peterborough together.
“I can’t remember too many games where we’ve lost together. Hopefully that’s a good omen and we complement each other well.
“It was a similar feeling at Peterborough. When I played with him, I felt his skillset and ability and determination balanced the stuff that I bring.”