SWINDON Town midfielder Michael Doughty hopes to be a thorn in the side of old club Stevenage when they visit the Energy Check County Ground tonight.

Doughty played 30 minutes on his return from injury in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Port Vale and hopes to be an integral part of the side moving forward, starting with tonight’s clash in League Two.

Swindon will look to win back-to-back league games for the first time since January against Dino Maamria’s Stevenage, who have won three of their last four, but Doughty is confident Town have got what it takes to beat the club with whom he spent the 2013-14 season on loan.

“Dino’s been doing a good job over there, judging from where they are in the league, but at this level, if we perform at the level we should be, with the calibre of players that we’ve got, we should be looking to win games at home against teams like Stevenage,” said Doughty.

“I was really grateful for the opportunity there, but hopefully they won’t be grateful to see me tomorrow night.”

The Town midfielder believes now that new boss Richie Wellens has had time to implement his ideas on the squad, results should start showing sooner rather than later.

Town kept their first clean sheet in seven games at Vale Park on Saturday and Doughty thinks his team-mates showed a resilience that had been questioned in recent games.

He said: “We’ve been on a poor run of form and the Carlisle game at home a couple of weeks ago was quite a low feeling, so it’s great that the manager has had a week to work with us. I think that was really evident with the performance on Saturday.

“But I think more pleasing was the clean sheet. After being drubbed 4-0 at home, to bounce back with that defensive display was really pleasing.

“My neck was hurting, looking in the air so much. There won’t be many teams that we’ll play against this year that will be that direct.

“It was an interesting test for us, I wouldn’t say an enjoyable one. The boys showed that there was a strength of character and a stronger backbone than we’ve maybe been given credit for, so that was a pleasing part of the victory.”

Swindon’s joint top-scorer hopes that Saturday’s win will be a catalyst for a pre-Christmas run that results in Town firing up the table.

“Football is centered so much around belief and the feel-good factor and when you’re on a winning run, it’s easy to build that momentum, and when you’re losing, it’s hard to stop,” said Doughty.

“That’s why I’m hoping Saturday will be a platform for us.

“There have been moments in games that have been difficult for us recently. The 4-0 defeat was flattering to Carlisle, but we haven’t been performing at our highest level or getting some bits of luck in games.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things, but hopefully we’ve seen the back of that now.”

Should Doughty start this evening, it will mark his first appearance from kick-off in a month after a recent lay-off with a foot injury.

He said: “I’ve been through it a little bit in the last 10 weeks with the hip and then the second game back, cutting my foot open which got infected and then led to a blood clot.

“I’m trying to get my fitness back and I’ve been working really hard over the last 10 days.”