TOM Broadbent – a player shot of confidence only last month following Swindon Town’s hopeless three-goal League Two loss to Colchester United – is in line to return to Richie Wellens’ starting line-up this evening for Stevenage’s visit.

Broadbent lacked pace and forward movement when John McGreal’s United put three goals beyond now back-up ‘keeper Luke McCormick to spark a seven-match run where Town have secured only one win and lost five.

But Wellens, 39, reported positive news from Broadbent’s efforts at Town’s Beversbrook Sports Facility training base in Calne.

And the 27-year-old – who signed on a two-and-a-half year deal from Bristol Rovers in January – could cover for the all-action Gabriel Zakuani this evening when bottom club Stevenage travel to Wiltshire.

Wellens said: “Tom Broadbent has trained very well over the last few weeks, so he’ll come into my thinking.

“Gabriel Zakuani is just gasping for air really, so we might need to make a change there simply because he needs a rest.

“Our distances were not right (at Crewe), and we were so deep that we allowed them to get up the pitch too easily.

“Therefore, I think I need to make a change at centre back.”

One player also likely to return to Wellens’ starting XI is Michael Doughty.

Doughty, who hasn’t started a League Two game since Town’s trip to Cheltenham in August, was said to have trained poorly recently off the back of his first-team selection absence.

The 26-year-old, who bases himself in London, will get his chance to win his shirt back tonight, though, as Jordan Lyden misses out through suspension.

Keshi Anderson will also be missing from the team sheet amid Wellens’ efforts to source the problem that is hindering his usual all-action playing style.

“Michael Doughty will get his chance – I’m looking forward to seeing Michael play because he’s been chomping at the bit,” said Wellens.

“I’ve always rated Michael – he’s a good player, but I want him to get back to the standards that he set last year and the early parts of this year before he got his suspension.

“He’s paid the price for his stupid sending off, and now he’s got his chance to get that shirt back and keep it.

“Diallang Jaiyesimi trained on Monday, so he’s a little bit stronger now.”