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PRESS CONFERENCE LIVE: Rochdale A.F.C v Swindon Town

Good morning and welcome back after what feels like an eternity to another Swindon Town press conference. We are getting down to the business end of the season with just 8 games remaining of the League Two calendar as Swindon travel to Rochdale tomorrow. Join Total Sport Swindon's Ryan Walker from 8.25am as he speaks to STFC boss Ben Garner.


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


Garner on McKirdy injury:

"It was just out of the blue and I don't think it is related to the ankle injury. The ankle has been fine and has settled down really well. He just sprinted and felt his calf, it's unfortunate and he was disappointed for a couple of days but is now positive again and is focused on getting back as quickly as possible."


Garner on his approach to players' mindset:

"I think the way we have worked across the season has been consistent and it's not as if now we are doing different things and are adding more pressure to the season. We have been very consistent with team meetings and training and that willl be the same going into these games. These players are driven and they want to succeed and I don't think we can be any more motivated.

"If you try and go too far it will actually deteriorate performances and we have to find that sweet spot. We need to have that composure on the ball and the bravery to play our football."


Garner on playoff pressure:

"We are certainly at the business end of the season and there is pressure but I don't want that pressure to be too much. I want the players to be brave and have the freedom to play and show their abilities. There is a fine line, yes we want to win, but I would never say we can't lose to the players because that builds tension and nervousness and changes the mindset of the players. We will go to win tomorrow and we have to control what we can control and play our football."


Garner on what he is looking for against Rochdale:

"I'm looking for two things, intensity and then bravery and courage. I want to have that going into this last run of games and want them to enjoy it and embrace it. They have worked really well this week and hopefully that puts them in a good mindset to perform."


Garner on Rochdale:

"I think they are a really good team and when you look at the data they should be higher in the league than they are. The way they play they are very organised and well-coached with some talented players. They could be higher up the table and it will be a tough game there after their midweek win. We go there full of respect but if we can take training this week into the game I will be very pleased."


Garner on Crawley defeat:

"We had a long run of games and reduced squad size but that isn't an excuse. I'm still a bit angry about that and we have to put it right tomorrow. With no disrespect to Crawley we beat ourselves. 26 minutes into the game they hadn't had a shot. We lacked a bit of intensity in our minds and these are the things we have to improve if we want to go on. Although I don't want to be critical, we have minimum standards that have to be met if you want to play for this football club."


Garner on 2 week break:

"Hopefully it has had a positive impact and we had 2 weeks of training with some breaks as well. We have worked the players hard and they have been fantastic. Sometimes having that break gives a bit of freshness and we have had a really good week this week. We reviewed the Crawley game last week and there were several areas that just weren't us that we need to make sure doesn't happen this week. Players have trained this week and put themselves up to take a shirt."


Garner on injuries:

"We have Louie Barry and Joe Tomlinson back after training all week. Harry McKirdy is not available for tomorrow after picking up an injury and we have one player ill who won't be available. Harry will be out tomorrow but it shouldn't keep him out for the remainder of the season. He has responded really well to treatment.

"It's a big difference having Louie and Joe back and they were forming a nice partnership before their injuries. It would be nice to have Louie and Harry together but Louie is back and we need that threat in our team."


Garner on JoJo Wollacott reaching the World Cup:

"It's brilliant for him and a wonderful achievement. It's incredible for a goalkeeper in League Two to go to a World Cup and it will be a wonderful experience for him. Hopefully, he can keep that shirt and go to the World Cup.

"He is very level-headed and really driven and motivated, that experience will only make him better. He loved the experience of qualifying and I spoke to him about some of the other aspects of the game but he came back in yesterday for a quick checkup and will be back in training today.

"He seems to be fine and we will see how he is this morning."


Ben Garner has now joined us and we are ready to go.


We are now in the Zoom call and waiting for Ben Garner. So that concludes the shortest pre-press conference re-cap in history.


Goalkeeper JoJo Wollacott helped Ghana reach the World Cup after drawing 1-1 with Nigeria with the Swindon keeper's side progressing on away goals.


We are just waiting for the Zoom call to start but whilst we wait it gives us time to look over what's been happening at Swindon Town over the last couple of weeks.


Good morning and thank you for joining us once again after what feels like years to another Swindon Town press conference live blog.

Swindon Town FC

Swindon Town Football Club

STFC are Swindon's top football team, based at The County Ground Stadium.

The County Ground, County Road, Swindon, Wiltshire , SN1 2ED

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