MICHAEL Doughty admits trying to put together a charge towards the League Two play-off places over the second half of the season was not the situtation he expected Swindon Town to be facing when he joined the club last summer.

Doughty spent two previous loan stints at the Energy Check County Ground between 2015 and 2017 before signing a permanent deal back in July following his release from League One side Peterborough United, even turning down offers to remain in the third tier in order to head back to SN1.

The 26-year-old midfielder has been one of Town’s standout performers this season and is the club’s top scorer with nine goals in 22 games in all competitions.

However, the side’s results overall have been below-par and Swindon find themselves seven points below the top seven with 18 games to play.

Doughty concedes he is frustrated at Town’s current position of 12th in the table, but is determined to channel that into strong personal performances that can have a positive impact on the team – such as his two-goal display in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at home to league leaders Lincoln City.

“Over the Christmas period, we had some really tough away games. There is nothing that has got me particularly frustrated, it is just the competitive nature of myself,” said Doughty.

“Personally, my aspirations are to be where Lincoln are – that’s why I came to this club.

“I had offers in League One and decided to come here because of my relationship with everyone. Being candid, this isn’t the place in the table that I would like us to be.

“It is my job to channel that frustration in a better way and hopefully produce performances, like on Saturday.

“I think probably in the last few games, that has got the better of me, and it’s certainly something I will look to work on.”

Doughty’s heroics against the Imps came despite him starting the match on the bench, with the former Queens Park Rangers man turning the game around after his introduction at the break with a quick penalty and then a late equaliser.

The midfielder also had to make do with only an appearance as a substitute in Town’s previous 2-1 win at Macclesfield Town, and Doughty has no problem that fighting for a position in the starting XI is par for the course.

“I am naturally disappointed not to have started the last two games, but that is the nature of the beast. In the sport we are in, there are highs and lows,” said Doughty.

“Ultimately, I was just happy to come on and help the side.”