CONOR Thomas has thrived in the more forward role that Swindon Town manager David Flitcroft has granted him early on in their pre-season programme.

Having played a utility role last season, seemingly playing in every position other than in between the sticks, it was to the 23-year-old’s detriment as he was unable to secure a regular starting place in the team.

However, Flitcroft made it clear to the former Coventry man that he was part of his plans for their assault on League Two from day one.

And it appears that Thomas, whose career has been plagued by injury, has responded positively to that show of faith.

Not only is he topping the fitness charts when it comes to training, Thomas, whose only goal last term came in a 1-0 win over Millwall, has found his shooting boots.

While only against non-league opposition, Thomas has found the back of the net three times, with a second-half brace against Melksham on Tuesday night, and Flitcroft is looking to give him licence to roam forward more.

“Conor is someone from day one I wanted to work with and I told him that,” he told the local media.

“A big thing for me with Conor was there are no restrictions in football. Take the handbrake off and every day we are lucky to be doing what we’re doing.

“I’ve always felt that about football and I am trying to express that onto this group - don’t waste any time in football.

“I think his mindset is changing. There is a calmness to him when he gets in the opposition’s box and he’s got lovely feet, real soft feet to finish.

“You’ve got to have a composed head when you are in those situations and Conor certainly displays that.

“I think he wasn’t allowed to get forward as much as what he probably can but on the running stats, he’s phenomenal.

“He’s the fittest player at the club, the stats and data back that up so I am proving to him that he can do it and recover and go again and recover and he will cause people problems because it is difficult to track that late run at times.”