SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens hopes to have top scorer Michael Doughty back available to him for this weekend’s home match against Morecambe.

Midfielder Doughty has been forced to miss Town’s last five League Two fixtures due to a hamstring injury, with the team picking up just five points in that time.

The 26-year-old leads the way in Swindon’s goal-scoring charts this season, netting 12 times in 26 appearances in all competitions since his arrival on a free transfer last summer.

Following Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to Port Vale, Wellens called for his players to start to show more bravery in an effort to reignite their play-off push as the gap between themselves and the top seven now stands at seven points following the recent disappointing run.

The Town boss says that courageous characteristic is not in question when it comes to Doughty, so hopes that the former Queens Park Rangers player’s potential return to the fold against the Shrimps will provide a big boost to his squad on Saturday.

“I am hoping Michael Doughty might be back for Morecambe, but maybe it might be the week after,” said Wellens.

“Michael is one who is brave – he will shoot and he will pick the final pass.

“And he has got good quality, so the sooner we get him back, the better, because he was in good form before he got injured.

“We will just have to wait and see on that, but in terms of Saturday’s game against Port Vale, we picked up no injuries.”

Wellens has previously mooted the prospect of postponing this weekend’s Morecambe fixture as the club could be without three players due to international selection.

First-choice goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux has been named in the Chile squad for friendlies against Mexico and the USA on March 22 and March 26 respectively.

On-loan duo Ben House (Scotland U21s) and Canice Carroll (Republic of Ireland U21s) have been also called up to represent their home nations – although the latter is only on standby.

Wellens does not want to wait until the trip to Bury on March 30 to return to action, so says the prospect of calling off the Morecambe match is highly unlikely at this stage.

He said: “At the moment, I don’t see a reason to call it off. We don’t want two weeks until the next game.”