Garner demands bravery as Swindon seek FA Cup miracle
SWINDON TOWN Head Coach Ben Garner has called on his players to be brave when they take on Man City in the 3rd round of the FA Cup tomorrow as his side look to cause a historic FA Cup upset. Total Sport Swindon’s Ryan Walker spoke to Garner in his pre-match press conference.
72 league places separate Premier League champions Manchester City and League Two promotion hopefuls Swindon Town. But tomorrow evening both teams will meet for a momentous occasion as Pep Guardiola’s Man City travel to the County Ground.
Having impressed in his ability to take Swindon from relegation favourites at the start of the season following a turbulent summer period, to playoff contenders, Ben Garner has exceeded expectations in the hot seat at SN1.
However, the challenge of champions in Manchester City will be unlike anything Swindon have faced as Garner and his players are tasked with plotting an unlikely victory in front of the television cameras.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Swindon Town boss demanded bravery from his players insisting they must not sit back if his side is to record the unlikeliest of victories.
“We are what we are as a group, and we won’t go away from those principles and those beliefs,” said Garner.
“If we try to play a different way then we won’t do it very well because we haven’t worked on it.
“We will continue to play in the way that we do but we are also very realistic knowing that this is a team that has a lot of possession and presses very well.
“Will we have as much possession as we have had this season? I very much doubt it but we have to find ways to be good when we do have the ball and it is important that we are brave,” he added.
"If we just kick the ball back then we will just end up defending the whole game and we want to be brave and attack with purpose.
“We have to be defensively very good and perform at our highest levels to have a chance of winning the game.
“We haven’t made a big deal out of this game but the players are human and they make mistakes like we do,
“It is what it is and we know what a talented group Man City are. They have world-class players and we know we have to be at our very very best to have a chance in the game and that is our focus,” he said.
“We will take that challenge on and by giving your best you give yourself the best possible chance and the best possible chance of enjoying it as well,” said Garner.
Agreeing that the challenges Man City pose make this match a free hit for Swindon, Garner stated that it is important Swindon give a good account of themselves regardless of the result in front of a sell-out County Ground.
"I think [I want us to] just give a good account of ourselves,” said Garner.
"If we do the best that we can do and give everything we got and stay true to our beliefs then that would be fantastic.
“That’s all we can do really and if we do that then come what may the outcome of the game you can be proud of the effort that has gone in and take that confidence into our league games for the rest of the season.
“We are proud of what the players have achieved this season and for me on Friday night it is about seeing them give the best of themselves and embracing that challenge,” he said.
However, any expected shock result has been made even harder with Garner revealing that midfielder Jack Payne is unavailable through injury, and Wales international Jonny Williams is unlikely to feature.
"Jack Payne is injured with a knee injury and that is disappointing and a shame for Jack because he has been a fantastic player so far this season,” stated Garner.
“Jonny Williams hasn't trained as yet this week but we will see Friday although at the moment it is probably a no for him,” he added.