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PRESS CONFERENCE LIVE: Port Vale v Swindon Town

Good morning and welcome to our Friday morning press conference live blog as we speak to Swindon Town Head Coach to preview tomorrow's trip to Port Vale in League Two. Join Total Sport Swindon's Ryan Walker from 8.25am as he brings you all the important updates from SN1.



That concludes today's press conference. Thank you for joining us. We will have articles covering everything from today going out later.


Garner on Dion Conroy criticism:

"I think for a lot of players it has been difficult in terms of that break and then getting back up to speed. We have a number of players who can perform at higher levels than what they currently are and that is our focus and what we need to get back to. I always understand frustrations and criticism as it's a passionate game and everyone wants to do well no more so than us, but I think we also need to have that pinch of reality of where we were, where we've come from and where we are now.

"Covid has made it more difficult during this period with the break we had to have but it's not excuses and we have to find solutions and move forward. We also need to have that little bit of reality and I can't become over frustrated with things because you need to understand the situation. We want to improve, get better, get stronger as a club starting tomorrow and we are going there to win the game. We lost by one goal against Mansfield who are the in-form team and we are disappointed to not come away with a point."


Garner on Kaine Kesler-Hayden:

"I haven't heard anything from Aston Villa yet [on Kaine returning to Swindon]. Ben Chorley is due to have a phone call with them today just to see how Kaine is doing and to stay in touch on that front. It is my understanding that he is being assessed in terms of if he can compete and be a part of their Premier League squad now.

"If they don't think he is quite ready then I understand he will return here and carry on his development and carry on playing. From a selfish point of view I want him back here but at the same time I want what is right for Kaine."


Garner on January transfer window:

"It's definitely a more difficult transfer window than the summer window and it's difficult in terms of embargo restrictions as well. For example we can have conversations with a club and there may be an offer from another club who can make a bigger wage contribution than we can under the embargo. That can rule us out in certain occasions and there a number of factors that have to fall in line for a deal to happen.

"We won't panic or rush and we will make sure that we are getting the players in that we think are right for this club and right for helping this team now. If we have to be more patient then we are more prudent doing that than getting someone in for Saturday and then wondering in 3 weeks time if they are right for us."


Garner on defensive disruption:

"We have enough [defenders] here in the building to go and win tomorrow but beyond that we need some more depth and are limited in terms of numbers. We still have quality and players that can compete at this level. You are preparing for the window but then that changes very quickly with players being recalled so now we have to look at other positions as well and we are doing that.

"I'm confident we can get some really good payers in but the focus is on tomorrow and hopefully next week or the week after we have got players coming in who we feel add to what we have here."


Garner on season-long loan deals:

"I understand Alex Gilbert going back to Brentford but for me if you take a player on loan for a season and they play less than 60% of the games then there is a recall option. You would like to think if they are playing lots then they will play. Some clubs will give a player 5/6 months in League Two and then try them at a higher level. Sometimes a player is better staying where they are if they are enjoying themselves and part of a good group."


Garner on injuries:

"Jack Payne and Mathieu Baudry are both progressing really well and you couldn't ask for anything more from them in terms of recovery. We have one player being assessed this morning."


Garner on Port Vale pitch:

"It is a big pitch and we need to use that space, control it and utilise that. We have spoke about that and we are looking forward to the game. We need to not be too disheartened with Tuesday, we need to improve certain elements and we need to take those positives into Port Vale tomorrow."


Garner on Port Vale:

"We are at a different stage form when we played Port Vale previously and so are they with 3 or 4 new players in this window. They had a COVID break as well and that changes where clubs are. We learn from the previous game against them but we have a way of playing that we think can be successful. We need to have that focus to try and win the game."


Garner on Anthony Grant:

"We judge every player every week in training and we pickj the best squad to play. It is based on training, performance and who we think is the best players to play. We see players every day in training and it isn't about just one player.

"Jordan Lyden has done really well and I have been delighted with him over the last 2/3 weeks and we have great competition in those midfield areas."


Garner on Mansfield defeat:

"Tuesday night I think 60% of our lack of control was the playing surface. It was a really soft surface, was giving way and it meant trying to play in certain areas was a huge risk. There were too many turnovers for my liking but I felt we did well with that in the second half. We lacked intensity and focus in certain moments and we created enough chances to win the game. If we can do that at Port Vale tomorrow we give ourselves a fantastic chance of winning the game.

"We prepare in training and we take lessons from Tuesday but Port Vale is a different game and we have prepared tactically for that."


Garner on recruitment:

"We are trying to get things done as quickly as we can. Things change quickly in football and me and Ben Chorley are working hard to try and get players in. We are still restricted under the embargo but hopefully by the end of January we are in a better place."


Garner on needing a new defender:

"We are looking at strengthening in two or three areas but we have more than enough to go and win on Saturday. This is probably the most stretched we have been this season but we feel we can go there and win and that will be our focus."


Garner on Romoney Crichlow:

"We only had contact from Huddersfield a couple of days ago but football is a small world and I had an inclination ten days ago and new other clubs were looking at him. After Christmas once I had an inclination he would be going I thought it was right to play the players who I knew would be here until the end of the season.

"It has changed our picture a little bit in terms of recruitment but that's football and we move onto our backup plans. There were several League One clubs that wanted to take Romoney and he felt Plymouth was a good opportunity to step up and test himself in League One."


Garner on Harry McKirdy new contract:

"We are really happy with the deal and are prompted by how well he has done. He came here with a point to prove, he has undoubted ability and is still learning. He has loads to learn on the pitch and off the pitch but he has the potential to grow here.

"Harry is a really intelligent guy with a great football brain and a great desire to do well which has probably boiled over at times and that may have been his problem. He is working really hard on that, he is a fantastic talent and gives his all for the team. There is a lot more to come from him."


Ben Garner has now joined us.


We are in the meeting room and will be joined by Ben Garner shortly.


Good morning and thank you for joining us for today's Swindon Town press conference as we speak to STFC Head Coach Ben Garner ahead of Swindon's trip to Port Vale tomorrow.

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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