PHIL Brown remains hopeful that midfielder Michael Doughty can feature in Saturday’s starting XI against Notts County at Meadow Lane, despite suffering a severe laceration to his foot.

Doughty hobbled off the pitch with only 16 minutes played during Town’s mid-week fixture against lowly Cambridge United, a game which ended in a two-goal defeat for Brown’s troops.

The 25-year-old, who re-joined Swindon after spending a season at League One outfit Peterborough last year, required stitches to treat the deep wound.

However Brown remains optimistic of the midfielder’s chances of playing on Saturday, a game which Town fans will want to see the club end a frustrating six-game winless run. Brown said: “Michael (Doughty) has a severe laceration in his foot – he’s had two or three stitches in there.

“Hopefully Michael will be available for Saturday.”

Doughty’s exit from the field followed two early goals that were gifted to United following a severe lack of concentration and shape in defence.

Reggie Lambe and Jevani Brown coasted beyond Town’s back four to score a pair of similar goals, which secured Cambridge only their third win of the campaign.

James Dunne replaced Doughty - and while Dunne and his midfield team mate Steven Alzate weren’t short on chances, the pair ultimately struggled to deliver accurate balls in the direction of frontmen Marc Richards and Elijah Adebayo, both of whom struggled to find form again.

“He (Michael Doughty) couldn’t carry on,” said Brown.

“But at the same time, we still created chances.

“Steven Alzate and James Dunne created chances. It was one of those games where we had to sacrifice defensive midfield players and put more attacking minded players on.

“Consequently, we lost our shape towards the end of the game, and they could’ve got a third or fourth.

“Because of their counter attacking play, we’ve got to be more clinical in the final third.”