ARGUMENTS between Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens and defender Dion Conroy have led to an upturn in the defender’s form, and he is now set to take part in talks with the club regarding a contract extension.

Wellens criticised the 23-year-old’s physique and body language on the training pitch shortly after he was confirmed as Town boss in November following Phil Brown’s exit.

That prompted a one-month first-team absence for Conroy, but seven appearances since the turn of the new year – coupled with Millwall loanee Sid Nelson’s departure – have provided the former Chelsea man a much-needed pick-me-up.

With fresh targets, Conroy’s attitude in recent months has shocked Wellens, and he now hopes to tie him down to a fresh deal to remain at the Energy Check County Ground.

Wellens said: “I had big arguments with Dion – I wasn’t happy with his physique or his body language in training.

“But he’s been outstanding in the last month. For me, he has been our best player.

“He’s only been our best player because everyone knows Dion can pass the ball – he’s one of the best at passing in the league.

“But he’s a defender. I want him to be a proper defender.

“He’s done that in the last few games and he’s got his shirt now. If he carries on playing the way he has then he won’t lose it.

“We need to sort Dion out (his contract), because he has changed my thinking massively.

“He looks like a proper player at the minute.”

Town boss Wellens is also pleased with the progress made by stand-in skipper Tom Broadbent, who signed on a two-and-a-half year deal from Bristol Rovers in January.

Broadbent and Conroy have combined well in recent wins against Colchester United, Forest Green Rovers and Milton Keynes Dons.

Nonetheless, Wellens didn’t rule out a return for fans’ favourite Nelson – who will play the rest of the season on loan at Tranmere Rovers.

Wellens added: “A captain should be someone who ideally sees the game.

“Tom is centre half, so he will see everyone besides the goalkeeper.

“He can talk, command and has a physically demanding presence.

“The role isn’t important for me this season, I want a big captain for next pre-season. I want one captain who can play every week.

“The summer is only a few months away, yet it seems like five years away.

“Whether we get Sid Nelson or not, we don’t know.

“But Tom Broadbent is here for two-and-a-half years. He is someone we can build a team around at the club.”