PEOPLE like Dion Conroy are the type of players that Town manager Richie Wellens wants in his Swindon Team, the 38-year-old said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.

Wellens was discussing whether players in his team can or cannot take criticism and used the former Chelsea prospect as having the perfect attitude in responding to a healthy piece of advice.

Conroy has played 20 times under Wellens, including each of the last six, and has produced a number of fine performances as he forms a growing partnership in the centre of defence with Tom Broadbent.

It was not that way back in November though, as when Wellens joined the club, Conroy was sliding down his list of preferred defenders as a result of a lack of match sharpness.

Discussing the journey Conroy has been on since Wellens signed, the 38-year-old said: “I don’t think I’d be wrong in saying that when I got here, Dion wasn’t fit enough, and I told him that to play week in, week out, he was carrying too much condition – he wasn’t at his sharpest.

“If you see him now, physically, his body shape has changed. He’s lost the weight, he’s in much better condition and I think playing has helped him.

“He’s been really positive in the last four weeks. He’s been one that I’ve looked at and thought “fair play to you”, because I put you on the spot, I asked you to do certain things and he’s done it.”

Without naming any of his playing squad, Wellens admitted some members are not as open to taking criticism, and the Town chief believes those people could do a lot worse than to follow the example of 23-year-old Conroy if they want to improve and regularly feature in the matchday squad.

Wellens said: “If a player is not playing, I don’t expect them to be happy, but then ask me why they’re not playing and listen to the response.

“If they want to take it away like Dion has done and do it, great. He’s back in the team and he’s doing really well. That’s exactly what I want.

“Dion is exactly the type of character that I want in the dressing room.

“But there are other people who can’t take criticism as much and they want to be told they’re brilliant every single week, even though they’re not.

“When you talk about people’s drive, people’s work ethic – you can’t coach that. Being a professional footballer, you should have it.

“I don’t want to get too down because in 17 or 18 previous weeks, they’ve given me everything.”