Michael Doughty admits that Town’s 4-1 defeat to Scunthorpe United on Saturday was far from good enough and knows they have to deliver the goods in the FA Cup against Eastleigh this Friday.
The Reds were way below par as they conceded four goals in a horrific first-half, but they did respond after the interval and pulled a goal back courtesy of Nathan Thompson’s thumping header.
But Doughty was honest in his assessment of the game, whilst the midfielder also reflected on his long-awaited return to first-team action following a lengthy lay-off.
“I think showing grit and determination in the second-half was a minimum requirement after a bit of a horror show in the first-half,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk.
“It is obviously not something that we as players intend to go out there and do, but it happened and coming on in that situation was a first for me.
“If we can take any positives out of the game then we kind of matched a top of the table team for 45 minutes but obviously a game of football is 90 minutes.
“It wasn’t good enough.
“I was intending or at least had a brief conversation to play limited minutes in the game but the nature of the situation meant that the manager wanted to make some changes sooner rather than later.
“For my physical progress it was unexpected but a positive because I came through it and I felt better than I thought I would.
“I gained some confidence from that and it has been frustrating for me not being able to contribute for the last six to eight weeks.
“I just want to get back to doing that on a regular basis.
“I’m always confident in myself that when I’m feeling right I can positively impact the games and I just went into it trying to do that.
“I was hitting some good form prior to this illness and, albeit physically I wasn’t able to do anything, mentally I had a lot of time to reflect and one of the major things I wanted to do when I came back was not spend so much time getting used to things and trying to hit the ground running.
“That has stood me in good stead to come in and not be too nervous about how I perform and just go out there and try and continue the form I showed a couple of months ago.”
Looking ahead to this week’s Emirates FA Cup tie away at Eastleigh on Friday, Doughty is looking for Town to produce a response in-front of the BBC Two cameras.
“It is imperative for us to go there and win,” he continued.
“We are aware of the reasons why we’ve been picked for TV and we’re aware of the fact that we are on TV.
“The connotations of a banana skin and so on won’t necessarily come into our mind-set too much – we’re there to be professional and to do a job.
“After recent performances we’ve got to stand up as a group and have a really positive response.
“There are no easy games and anything can happen in the FA Cup. It is a one-off and we need to go out there and produce a level of performance which is very high and much better than what we’ve been doing.
“If we do that then we will win the game.”