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Garner loving 'outstanding' player Harry McKirdy
BEN GARNER has praised attacking forward Harry McKirdy after a man of the match performance that saw the 24-year old score and assist in Swindon Town’s two-nil away win over league leaders Forest Green Rovers. Total Sport Swindon’s Ryan Walker spoke to the STFC Head Coach following the game.
Featuring as a trial list at the start of the season, Harry McKirdy has quickly established himself as a fan favourite at Swindon Town. Now, he is producing performances that fulfil the potential that surrounded the attacker when he progressed through the ranks of the Aston Villa academy.
Coming off the bench to score against Bristol Rovers last weekend, McKirdy produced another game-changing display and was exceptional in today’s televised fixture against Forest Green Rovers at The New Lawn Stadium. Scoring a brilliant volley to give Town the lead before assisting Simpson following a mazing dribble that ensured the Robins secured all three points.
Speaking after the match, Swindon Town Head Coach, Ben Garner, revealed that allowing McKirdy to be himself off the pitch is the secret to getting the best out of the attacker on the pitch:
“He is an outstanding talent,” said Garner.
“He just needs to be loved and he is loved here. He is a different character but we embrace that and we want everyone at this football club being comfortable who they are as a person.
“We’re not going to try and change anyone as long as they buy into what we want, the way we want to play and the way we want to work,” he said.
After picking up a yellow card Garner admitted he was looking to replace McKirdy but was delighted to see him get the assist his performance deserved.
“We were talking about bringing him off and then he popped up with a bit of magic, a fantastic run, a little dink across goal and I’m delighted for Tyreece Simpson to get that goal because he had a perfectly good one disallowed in the first-half,” said Garner.
“I don’t know what has gone on with Harry before [at other clubs] but the big thing is we have accepted him for who he is and we love him as a character.
“He’s a top player, he buys into what we try to do and I like different characters, I don’t want everyone to be the same.
“I want people coming in with different dress sense, different humour and he makes every day fun. That’s what we want.
“I love him to bits as a character and a player,” he said.
"Harry is an extrovert. He puts a smile on people’s faces every day. He comes in with a bounce, always talking, cracking jokes, and telling stories and that gives a nice energy around the group.
“I think previously at other clubs it might have been a case of trying to conform him a little bit or get him to buy in with what other people do but we haven’t done that here.
“You dress how you want to dress. Whatever industry you go into you need to be able to be yourself and be comfortable being there and that is certainly something we want here at Swindon.
“Players have to buy into what we are doing, how we work and how we train but how they dress and what we do is down to them,” said Garner.
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