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PLAY-OFF PRESS CONFERENCE: Swindon Town v Port Vale

Good morning on this sunny Saturday as we bring you full live coverage from Ben Garner's pre-match press conference ahead of their League Two play-offs first-leg clash against Port Vale. Join Total Sport Swindon's Ryan Walker from 8.25am as we speak to the Swindon boss to preview tomorrow's tie.

9:05AM

That concludes today's press conference. Thank you for joining us.

9:05AM

Garner on this season:


"I think it says everything about us as a group if I am honest. It's about the hard work that everyone has put in since day one and the humility of everyone to knuckle down and get on with the job with the desire to improve this football club. It has been a collective effort and I am very fortunate to have a fantastic group of players, fantastic staff, and I think we got the minimum we deserve for the season we have had. Now we want to enjoy these playoffs."

9:03AM

Garner on his Crystal Palace experience:

"That experience was a positive one and there was lots to take from it. That was a fantastic experience for me and it has certainly helped in this respect. You learn from every situation and you have to learn from those experiences to make yourself the best possible person you can be and that will improve things moving forward."

9:01AM

Garner on potential impact of subs tomorrow:

"It is absolutely huge and I have given the example to the players here of when I was with Crystal Palace and we won the play-off final, Stuart O'Keefe was on the bench and hadn't played much that season and unfortunately a central midfield player got injured.


"He came on in the final and was absolutely magnificent, he played the game of his life and was incredible. Even for us, players coming on, Jake O'Brien for a young defender did really well to come on against Forest Green and Walsall.

"That's sometimes just as important as starting a game for a player. From my perspective I value every player at this football club, if someone comes on with just 5 minutes left it is just as important as someone playing 85 minutes."

8:58AM

Garner on extra enthusiasm in training:

"We have had that throughout this season and every game this season there has been a really healthy competitiveness. It's really important we have that and players who aren't starting really throw their support and get behind them. That group culture has been a big part of what we have been able to achieve this season. This week the ones who will start have had a certain amount of loading and the ones who don't start are ready in every aspect if they are called upon."

8:55AM

Garner on message to the fans:

"I don't want to calm the fans, have that excitement and have that anticipation for the game. These are great moments and to have this opportunity from where we were last summer is brilliant for the supporters and the club. Really enjoy it and please make as much noise as you can."

8:54AM

Garner on energy levels:

"This week has been fantastic. Energy levels are really high and it has actually been a case of reigning them in a little bit this week. The players are chomping at the bit and we will outrun and outwork any team, we won't fall short on that. The players are in a really good week and we can't wait for tomorrow."

8:46AM

Garner on dealing with Vale's physicality:

"We have to impose our game and play the way we play and won't go away from those principles. The last four games was knockout football for us and we showed resilience to see those games out and we have shown we can do both."

8:45AM

Garner on Swindon's set-piece defending:

"I'm really confident and the first port of call is controlling the ball and limiting chances from open-play and set-pieces. We have prepared very well and are really confident in this group."

8:44AM

Garner on missing players:

"There have been moments when we have lost players this season and you can't get disappointed. Massive credit to the whole squad for all the contributions they have made this season."

8:43AM

Garner on Port Vale:

"They have been very consistent all season and are very functional in what they do. They deserve to be in the playoffs. Against Newport, Newport played with a back five and focused on the counter-attack against Vale which was interesting to see. You take something from every game."

8:41AM


Garner on getting the best out of players:

"Every player that has come in we have a conversation with and I tell them how I see them fitting into this football club. It's important to remind players why they love the game and we like to give our players freedom. Jonny Williams and Jack Payne like to play in the middle and most of the time they would be used out wide but I know they have the ability to play through the middle."

8:39AM


Garner on creating a culture at Swindon Town:"You want the players to have that excitement but sometimes it can go too far and we have to calm everyone down. Man management is key and if you don't create a good environment then you won't be successful. You can be the best tactician but you need to create that culture where players can thrive."

8:38AM

Garner on Vale and Swindon's best away records:

"We will see but I don't think anything that has happened in the League season will have any bearing on the playoffs. We have the benefit of being in a knockout position already having to win every game to get into the playoffs."

8:37AM

Garner on 2 legs:

"For me it is about winning both games. Tomorrow we want to attack and win the game and that will be the same on Thursday regardless of tomorrow's result. We are going to score as many goals as we can and try and win the games. We are very much focused on starting well tomorrow and coming out with a positive result."

8:35AM

Garner on training this week:

"We had a little bit of a longer rest but have had a pretty normal week. The players have looked sharp, hungry, and it has been a perfect week so far."

8:35AM

Garner on enjoying playoffs:

"I think it's important to enjoy the good moments in football. I enjoy it for a short moment and then move on and refocus and set your new target."

8:34AM

Garner on goalkeeper selection:

"Every position has that challenge and that was the point of having a squad that can compete. The goalkeeper position is one where we have had strong competition."

8:34AM

Garner on injuries:

"No change on that front, everyone is still as they were. Rob Hunt and Jordan Lyden are both progressing well.

"JoJo has progressed well and is back in full training and not had any issues with it."

8:32AM

Ben Garner has now joined us.

8:30AM

We are in the Zoom call and Ben Garner will be with us shortly.

8:26AM

We are waiting to join the Zoom call but strap yourself in because we are set for an extended press conference with the national media also in attendance ahead of tomorrow's televised League Two play-off. Mansfield and Northampton will play today, whilst Swindon host Port Vale tomorrow.

8:22AM

Good morning and thank you for joining us bright and early on a Saturday morning for today's Swindon Town pre-match press conference with Ben Garner ahead of tomorrow's opening leg of the League Two playoffs against Port Vale.

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