INCONSISTENCIES in the early part of Swindon Town’s latest League Two campaign ultimately paved the way for another failed season in the fourth tier of English football, admits midfielder Michael Doughty.

Doughty, who last week was voted the Swindon Advertiser Player of the Year, described Town’s start to the season as a microcosm of the whole season itself.

In all competitions, Town failed to win three games back-to-back. Only four times did they manage to string together two wins, and that ultimately led the club to its lowest league finish in 37 years, as well as early exits in the Caraboa Cup, Checkatrade Trophy and FA Cup.

Thrilling victories over Macclesfield and Tranmere at home in August weren’t built upon, and Doughty admits dropping points to the likes of Yeovil, Cheltenham, Cambridge and Port Vale in the late parts of the season hurt any plausible promotion push.

He said: “We built some momentum against teams at the higher end of the table, but in the reverse of that we lost to teams that we should be picking up three points.

“That element has been our ultimate downfall. The first three months, it was tough – it’s tough for any manager when 10 or 15 new players come in.

“Expectation levels are for immediate success. I didn’t sign until a week before the season, even as players you’re still finding your feet.

“There are a lot of elements that I think fans don’t necessarily recognise – or it’s not their problem.

“They want to see the team performing at optimum levels all the time. But we are in League Two, and there is a certain reason for some of that.

“You look at Lincoln and Mansfield, even in moments of poor form they have managed to grind out results. Ultimately, we have improved considerably.

“I can wholeheartedly say we have been incredibly committed to get the club out of the league.”

Injury played its part in the 26-year-old’s progress this season. A knock to his hip after Town’s Checkatrade Trophy tie against Newport ruled him out for over a month, before a cut foot in Cambridge’s visit to the County Ground added to his woes.

Frustration ruled large parts of Doughty’s season, and he consequently feels there is more to come from his performances throughout 2019-20.

He added: “When I’ve been fit, the season has been enjoyable – probably one of my best to date.

“They key word in that sentence though is ‘when’. I’ve struggled a bit with a couple of unfortunate injuries.

“When I think about those incidents, there is a lot that is out of control of those scenarios. When you’re playing an impact sport and pick up injuries like that, it can be incredibly frustrating.

“It’s been tough. The expectation has been on me to come in and perform every time that I’ve played, that’s the nature of the industry.

“But when you’re constantly building momentum, only for that to be halted, it is difficult. When I look at my stats, I’m pleased considering I haven’t had the continuity I would’ve liked.”