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PRESS CONFERENCE LIVE: Harrogate Town v Swindon Town

Good morning and thank you for joining us for today's Thursday morning press conference live blog as we speak to Swindon Town Head Coach Ben Garner ahead of Swindon's trip to Harrogate this weekend. Join Total Sport Swindon's Ryan Walker from 8.30am for all the key updates from the press conference.


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


Garner on Swindon having the easiest season run-in:

"I never understand people who look at things on paper and analyse a run-in, it baffles me. You don't know how any team is going to play, what their motivation is, what they are fighting for, so I think that is a ridiculous question if I'm honest.

"We have to focus on each game as it comes, every team is doing the same and what we do on the pitch tomorrow is all that matters. If it was on paper then we could pick who we play and we get promoted but it's not that way.

"You look at results across the season does that mean that those games [Bristol Rovers will play] are harder than other games? We've got Barrow to play who are fighting to stay in the league and everyone has got something to play for all the time. Some teams will be mid-table and actually play better now because they can relax and that helps some teams to play freer. I don't know any other teams run-ins and I don't waste any energy on that."


Garner on Ben Gladwin's importance:

"It's great to have him back this week and he has trained this week and gone up another level. Around the place, he has the experience and know-how and takes time to talk to the younger players. Ricky Aguiar was talking to him the other day about his positioning and that is great where you need those players who help develop players. PLayers will learn from him and he can play a key part in this run-in."


Garner on playoff challenge:

"It's exciting to be involved in the race and we have to embrace it and enjoy it. If you don't enjoy these moments and take on these challenges then you aren't doing things right. Let's enjoy this moment, enjoy our games and come out with the win."


Garner on changing players' mentality:

"It's difficult to get inside anyone head and it is on me to improve players mentality and whenever we don't play as well then that is on me. I need to identify ways to improve the players and that is an ongoing process."


Garner on Swindon's league position:

"If you said start of the season we wouldn't be out the top 10 until now then we would have taken it It's been frustrating that we have been the better side in the last 2 games and deserved more points but that is all information to learn from. What is going to happen over the coming weeks you don't know, we can only stay in the present and keep enjoying what we are doing. I think we deserve at a minimum the playoffs."


Garner on his contract length:

"That 3-year contract is what I signed when I came to the club and it was always a case of staying in the league this season and then building. We have done a great job this season but have done lots behind the scene in building the club. When I leave this club I want it to be in a lot better position than when I walked through the door. We have had a good 10 months and I look forward to continue improving."


Garner on previous playoff experiences:

"There is lots you can take from past experiences. We had a dip when I was at Palace and got into the playoffs on the last day and then went on to win the playoffs. The important thing is having the confidence that we can do it. If we get into the playoffs then we can go and win it. Over two legs we can beat anyone but we have to focus on the here and now."


Garner on Harrogate"

"I've watched several of their recent games and they are probably scratching their heads like us where they have missed chances in recent games. They had chances against Salford and didn't take them and that is what cost them. They are a really hard-working group with great character and I am expecting a tough game. It's a new place for me and I am looking forward to that."


Garner on lack of goals recently:

"It is a combination of things to be honest and the important thing for me with players is that I don't get too disheartened with missed chances, I get disappointed when players stop creating chances. If we continue creating chances then we will score and win games. The mentality has got to be strong and you look at the best players and missed chances doesn't affect them. I want us to keep getting in positions and trust that it will come."


Garner on last two games:

"We should have had six points from our last two games and Saturday should have been a clean-sheet where we just had one lapse which cost us a goal and we didn't take our chances at the other end. It was a smash and grab from Newport and you have these moments in football and not panic."


Garner on must-win games:

"We are getting to that stage and from our perspective, we just have to not get too bogged down with that and not build it up too much in the heads of the players. If you get those things right then that's what wins games and we have to get that right each and every game."


Garner on Brandon Cooper:

"The hope with Brandon was to have him back early to mid-June and hopefully he can be and is ready for the start of pre-season. The most important thing is that he recovers."


Garner on team news:

"We are hopeful Harry McKirdy will be fit for Monday but not tomorrow. He has had a really good week and hopefully when he ticks the remaining boxes he will be back Monday. Jonny Williams picked up a diaphragm injury with Wales and he has aggravated it a bit. We will make a call on that."


Ben Garner has now joined us.


Good morning and thank you for joining us for this morning's Swindon Town press conference with Ben Garner ahead of his Swindon's trip to Harrogate.

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