PHIL Brown launched to the defence of Swindon Town skipper Olly Lancashire after the defender was subject to some harsh criticism from some supporters.

After falling 2-0 down in the opening 15 minutes against Cambridge United on Tuesday evening, segments of the home crowd singled out the 29-year-old.

Reflecting on the atmosphere from Tuesday night’s defeat, he says the players should not be on the receiving end of any abuse, and that the buck ultimately stops with him.

“I didn’t have to play in the atmosphere on Tuesday, the club captain had to play in it and it was a little bit of a raw occasion,” he said.

“It was sad to see at times. When a supporter boos their own players, I find that difficult to understand being a supporter myself.

“Olly got through it in a professional manner, but no player needs that level of criticism apart from his manager criticising him.

“If anyone is going to criticise anyone, criticise me because I am the one who picks him and the other 10 players who play with him, I put them out there.”

Brown also highlighted that Lancashire was almost forced to retire over the summer after struggling to deal with a neck injury which had ruled him out of the tail end of last season.

The former Southend United boss reiterated the central defender, who took numerous injections in order to play last season, puts his body at risk every time he plays for Swindon and added he is more than happy with the 29-year-old’s contribution to the cause ahead of their trip to Notts County tomorrow afternoon.

“He has represented the club from a captain’s point of view in an astonishing fashion,” he added.

“Bearing in mind that he almost retired last year so he had to come through that too.

“For me he is putting his body on the line every time he crosses the white line and I for one am a big supporter of Olly Lancashire.

“If the supporters in question are not supporting Olly Lancashire, then I would like to know why.

“If they’d like to meet me then please meet me and tell me why you’d boo you own player.

“The players are really supportive of the club captain and the rest of the changing room.

“They’ll fight for the cause, the cause being every time you represent the club you wear the shirt with pride.

“Swindon Town’s supporters will see the benefit of that in the long term.”

Town are boosted by the return of young defender Sid Nelson for their trip north, the Millwall loanee returns to contention after serving a one-game ban for collecting five yellow cards.