Doughty determined to keep “feel-good factor” going in wake of Millwall heroics

©calyx_Pictures_Swindon_v_Millwall
Michael Doughty in the thick of the action against Millwall (PIC: Richard Wintle)

Michael Doughty wants to keep the good times flowing at Swindon Town after emerging as the hero during the 2-2 draw with Millwall on Saturday. 

The on-loan QPR midfielder has proved to be a big hit since arriving in Wiltshire in January and he endeared himself to the County Ground faithful even more at the weekend after pouncing at the death to earn his side a share of the spoils.

It had all started so differently for the hosts however as Millwall raced into a 2-0 lead courtesy of efforts from Lee Gregory and Steve Morison – both forwards punishing some woeful defending.

However, Town have made a habit of launching dramatic comebacks this season and they produced the goods once more to keep their hopes of reaching the play-offs alive.

Nicky Ajose started the fightback just past the hour mark when he confidently converted from the penalty spot after Raphael Rossi Branco was hauled down inside the area by Lions defender Carlos Edwards.

And, after launching wave after wave of attack on the Millwall goal, Town finally reaped their rewards with almost the last kick of the game when Doughty stooped low to head home a priceless equaliser.

That strike stretched Swindon’s unbeaten run in League One to six straight games and Doughty – who now has four goals to his name this term – was quick to praise the togetherness of his team-mates.

“It is euphoria really to get a goal that late and it felt almost like a win,” he told members of the local press on Saturday.

“For us it was a testament to our character and how far we’ve come as a group in the last two-three months, so I’m really pleased.

“There were some negatives in the game that we need to work on but we need to keep that feel-good factor going at the club and we managed to do that (on Saturday).

“I felt really tired towards the back-end of the game and I think all the lads were feeling it because we end up covering quite a lot of distance around the pitch because of our dominance with possession.

“They (Millwall) counter-attacked quite well which made for a really exciting end-to-end game, but as a midfielder it is not ideal.

“But our character and fitness levels pushed us over the line and that will be key for us in the next few games.

“The fans were growing in frustration, as were we a little bit because they were a really good defensive unit and probably more of a stern test than what we’ve faced in the last four or five weeks.

“It was a good barometer for where we’re at in our season and they’ve been our stiffest challenge.

“We had to throw loads of different things at them and in the first-half they stifled us quite a lot, but we got more joy in the second and on the balance of play we thoroughly deserved the equaliser and at least a point from the game.

“We were a little slow with our tempo in the first-half, something that we addressed at half-time, and the lads have now really showed the character and the presence to really be a successful team, whether it’s this season or for the future.”

Doughty has emerged as a real attacking force during his time at SN1, an aspect of his game that the midfielder has put plenty of effort in improving.

“Football is an immediate game and I’ve been looking at statistics in the past and been keen to work on those because I felt like I had goals in me,” he continued.

“I’ve played in more of a deeper role at other clubs so potentially they don’t tell the whole story, but Luke (Williams) has really given me the license and the freedom to make runs into the box and score goals.

“It’s credit to him and to people like Brad (Barry) and Jon (Obika) who are going to the last minute and everyone really deserves credit.

“I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time but the whole club can be proud of the performance (against Millwall).

“We can take that and really build on it.”

 

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