GARY Bowyer wants Hope Akpan to use his Swindon display as a launchpad to make a bigger impact for City.

The midfielder has generally under-achieved in his time at Valley Parade since arriving as one of the big-name signings in the summer of 2018.

But recalled for the injured Matty Palmer, Akpan delivered his strongest home performance in a City shirt in Saturday’s 2-1 win.

Akpan scored the opener and “set the tone” for his team according to his boss, who is now hoping for more of the same.

Bowyer said: “Hope has played at a very high level and I think he showed those qualities. There’s certainly more to come from him.

“It’s no surprise with how he’s applied himself in the last couple of weeks in training that he gets those rewards.

“Hope has picked up an injury this season and been out the team.

“But in the last couple of weeks you’ve seen his attitude and desire and the hunger in his eyes again to make an impact.

“The way he’s trained and how he’s got himself in the team and his performance has shown that.

“I thought he set the tone early on with a couple of crunching tackles and pressing. I’m delighted for him.”

Sub Shay McCartan’s first goal in his second spell back at the club sealed a third home win on the bounce. Bowyer’s side are now up to sixth and within three points of new League Two leaders Forest Green Rovers.

Skipper James Vaughan faces a fight to get straight back into the team after missing out through suspension.

Bowyer added: “All of them worked their socks off. It’s a simple game sometimes and you’ve got to run really hard.

“Credit goes to everybody involved in the staff. We lost Matty Palmer and James Vaughan and to make the change, most would have expected us to go with two up top.

“But we tweaked it a little bit to try to get us more of a foothold in midfield. We put an extra body in there and I thought it worked brilliantly for us.

“They put a marker down and now we have to back it up. We’ll start again today and put the demands on them to keep pushing them.

“What they have done in the last couple of days more so is to push themselves. They’ve asked demands of themselves and that’s important in your squad.

“They know there’s talent in there and have a good group. They then have to put demands on each other to get better.

“We don’t want to just settle for one win. We want a repeat of that now.”

Paudie O'Connor is expected to be fine after going off with what Bowyer called a "dead backside".