MICHAEL Doughty will be welcomed back into Swindon Town’s squad for tomorrow’s trip to Port Vale after overcoming an injury to his right foot.

Doughty limped off the field with a badly cut foot which required stitches during Town’s home loss against Cambridge United towards the end of last month.

Injections meant the 26-year-old leading goalscorer played four days later when Town defeated struggling Notts County 2-1 at Meadow Lane.

However, his 60-minute appearance in Nottingham caused further damage to his foot and consequently ruled him out of the club’s trip to Colchester United and both home games against York City and Carlisle United.

Now fully healed, Doughty is set to return to the Town’s side alongside striker Marc Richards, who has recovered from an illness.

Kaiyne Woolery, however, remains in the treatment room.

Town boss Richie Wellens said: “Since Michael (Doughty) trained on Tuesday, it’s clear to me that he’s bright and a very good player. He’s class on the ball.

“He’s been a big boost for us, and apart from that, it’s the same squad.

“Marc (Richards) was ill and struggled with a slight calf injury (before Carlisle), but I put him on the bench because he’s a man – and we haven’t got many men at the moment.

“I told him to go and warm-up at 2-0 last week, thinking about putting him on. When the game went out of reach, there was no point in risking him.

“He’s over his illness now and raring to go.”

Of the players available for selection, Town boss Wellens admits fitness levels can be improved across the board.

It’s an area that the 38-year-old has targeted for improvement in the build up to a busy Christmas period – which includes matches against Cheltenham Town, Northampton Town, Mansfield Town and Exeter City in the space of 11 days.

Explaining more about how the club monitors work-rate levels both on the training ground and during games, Wellens warned his players that they can’t hide or cheat the system.

He added: “I think the players could be fitter. In the coming weeks we’ll be working on that.

“This is a fantastic football club, it’s got every single GPS, every electronic system in place for us to manage them.

“They can’t hide, they can’t cheat. As we’re training, we can nip to the side and watch the live distances that they’re covering and what sprint distances they’re covering. All of that helps.”

Ensuring his men are ‘switched on’ throughout the 90 minutes is also a trait Wellens hopes to master, adding that not getting defensive basics right cost his side at least two goals during last Saturday’s woeful display against Carlisle.

Tracking weighted balls and offering a little more ‘excitement’ in the final third is what Wellens has targeted as the club’s key aims.

And he admits forwards that take risks and get things wrong are preferred over strikers that don’t take risks at all.

“Last Saturday at 1pm I was quite relaxed, I decided to go on what got the result from the week before,” said Wellens.

“I didn’t want to overload them with information. But I was driving home after feeling like death warmed up.

“It wasn’t a nice feeling. I watched a lot of positives, but I also saw a team that if it’s not switched on, then it can concede goals quite easily.

“We need to be switched on, and I want us to have a bit more rotation and excitement going forward.

“We did okay in the first half-an-hour, but there were still too many straight lines. I want players to take others on.

“I don’t want players to check out and pass back, we want to pass the ball to get into the final third.

“When you’re stood on the sidelines 4-0 down, it’s the worst feeling.

“That’s the worse defeat of my career, albeit a young career.

“I’ve not come here to stand still.”