CENTRAL defender Tom Broadbent could struggle for League Two minutes this season after failing to catch Richie Wellens’ eye last night in Town’s 3-2 Leasing.com Trophy group stage loss to Chelsea U21s.

Broadbent, 27, signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Swindon in January after moving from League One outfit Bristol Rovers and made 12 appearances for the club prior to the end of last season.

Town boss Wellens has on balance strengthened Town’s defensive options throughout the summer by retaining Dion Conroy while adding Zeki Fryers, Mathieu Baudry, Rob Hunt and Tyler Reid on permanent deals.

Competition for defensive places is consequently high. But Broadbent did little to win over Wellens on Tuesday night in what the Town boss described as an ‘all over the place’ defensive show.

“Tom (Broadbent) is competing with four other centre backs, and we have the option of playing Zeki (Fryers) at the centre back as well,” said Wellens.

“He was given an opportunity against Chelsea to perform and show what he can do, I think he will admit himself that he didn’t do himself any favours.

“The league is my priority, and we’ll assess Tom’s situation going forward.”

Following Saturday’s two-goal opening day win at Scunthorpe, standout defenders Conroy and Baudry have both picked up minor knocks that aren’t believed to threaten their ability to play against Carlisle on Saturday.

However, Conroy (ankle) and Baudry (hamstring) are likely to miss next week’s Carabao Cup trip to Colchester United as Wellens plots to prioritise his side’s league form.

He added: “Dion (Conroy) had a swollen ankle and Mathieu (Baudry) has a sore hamstring – we have four or five players nursing injuries and it’s not worth risking them in games like last night.

“We might get to next week and players might feel fresher. But we can’t afford to risk people – and therefore I’d imagine the Carabao Cup starting XI will be similar to Chelsea.

“Their injuries aren’t threatening for this weekend, but it’s sods law that if we played Dion tonight that he’d get a kick.

“You can’t put your hamstring under any strain, we just have to look after Mathieu and learn how to look after his body. It’s important Mathieu is fit for us every single Saturday.”