SWINDON Town boss Phil Brown has heaped praise on his skipper Olly Lancashire as he continues to play through the pain barrier.

Since the turn of the year, Swindon have been without their captain for the majority of fixtures after the 29-year-old was sidelined for six weeks with a calf problem.

However, the former Shrewsbury Town man has returned to the fold over recent weeks, with back-to-back starts against Carlisle United and Yeovil Town at the Energy Check County Ground this week.

On both occasions, Brown has removed his captain before the final whistle as he continues to nurse the defender back to full fitness.

Not only has Lancashire been blighted with a calf issue, he has also been struggling with a spinal problem.

Speaking after the 2-2 with Yeovil on Tuesday, Brown revealed the extent of the complaint and praised Lancashire’s determination to get on the pitch.

“Olly Lancashire was a big plus from the game, but he was a big miss when he came off, it is as simple as that,” he said.

“I highlighted him in the changing room. It is almost a career-threatening spinal problem that he has, and he’s decided he wants to play.

“That kind of gumption and that kind of substance, spirit and heart is what is necessary – it’s not there in everybody and I understand that.

“When Olly came off and Ryan (McGivern) came on, it wasn’t just down to Ryan, it was down to the back four getting deeper and not doing their jobs collectively.

“The more Olly Lancashires, the more Matthew Taylors and the more Marc Richards type of person, the better chance you have, and that is where the likes of Scott Twine will learn his trade.”

Lancashire, who arrived at the County Ground last summer, was taken off on Tuesday night after an hour, but Brown insists it was a precautionary measure.

“I wasn’t concerned about concussion for Lancashire, I got a message after 60 minutes that his calf was tightening up,” added Brown, who now says Swindon need to win all of their remaining games.

“With four big games to go, we’re probably now in the situation where we need to win all four.

“That might change, I don’t know because this league is a bit of a weird league at the moment “Our game should have seen us gain points on Coventry and be in a play-off position.”