DAVID Flitcroft says Swindon Town club captain Olly Lancashire will be ‘working round the clock’ to be fit for Tuesday night’s important trip to Wycombe Wanderers in League Two after missing out through injury for the first time this season at the weekend.

Central defender Lancashire had featured in all of Town’s 31 league fixtures prior to the visit of Mansfield Town to the Energy Check County Ground on Saturday and was actually intended to start against the Stags only to succumb to an ankle problem in the hours before the game.

Following Swindon’s superb 1-0 victory, Flitcroft revealed Lancashire has been suffering with the injury for some time and added that the skipper is desperate to make an immediate return to action against Wycombe in midweek.

“I spoke to him straight after we made the decision and the first thing he said was ‘I have got to work round the clock now to try to be available for another important game on Tuesday’,” said Flitcroft.

“He was on the team sheet and once he had his fitness test, which we thought he would come through, he didn’t make it.

“I can’t tell you how tough it has been for Lancs in terms of making games this season. He has been smashed from pillar to post and smoked from every angle but he is fierce and wants to get out there.

“I had to pull him on Saturday and say ‘Listen, we have got to look at the bigger picture’.

“He was absolutely gutted and desperate to play. I have been in that situation before as a manager and a player where you have that determination to play but it is not the right decision for the team or the player.

“A manager once pulled me out and I was gutted but looking back, I understand it and I expressed that to Lancs before the game.

“At times, you let yourself down if you go out half-cooked. He has been carrying it and it was just a game too far.”

Town produced a resolute defensive display despite the late change in personnel and limited the Stags to few clear sights at goal.

Although Flitcroft was delighted with that show of resolve, he felt there was much more to his side’s performance than a battling effort at the back.

“They have had to dig in. We had to reshuffle and the lads were brilliant. To a man they were outstanding in the work and application,” said Flitcroft.

“They had to dig deep into the reserves but it wasn’t just a dig-out performance. There were some good phases of play, we moved the ball well at times and caused some problems.”