Town Head Coach Luke Williams sat down with members of the local media in the wake of his side’s dramatic 1-0 victory over Millwall at The County Ground earlier today. Here are the key points from what he had to say…
ON CONOR THOMAS:
“We just spoke in the dressing room briefly and I think every single Swindon Town fan should be very proud of Conor because it has been a difficult season for him.
“Every single day he’s immaculate and he gives everything in training, he’s bright and he listens to every single thing and he will know everybody’s job even if he’s not starting the game.
“He’s in early, he looks after himself fantastically well and he so deserves that goal.
“I’m so pleased for him.”
ON CONOR THOMAS REPLACING BEN GLADWIN JUST BEFORE KICK-OFF:
“Conor probably would not have started the game but he’s taken the opportunity with both hands and that’s exactly what you want from all of your players.
“You want them to be ready, you want them to respect the fact that it is a squad game and you want them to take it when an opportunity presents itself.
“If they don’t take the opportunity then you need them to at least have been ready and to have given everything.”
ON THE RESULT AND PERFORMANCE:
“I felt like we kept putting the ball into the box and we kept trying to break when there was an opportunity, so I felt like there was hope.
“It was a very good performance defensively and we had to pay a huge amount of respect to the front-two (Steve Morison and Lee Gregory) for Millwall and we know how good they are.
“They can hurt you and their team-mates are so bright and they look for those boys so quickly if you lose the ball.
“They are both willing runners, they can finish, they can provide for each other and Nathan (Thompson) and Fankaty (Dabo) in the first-half in particular really helped Rohan (Ince), Dion (Conroy) and Raphael Rossi-Branco to keep those two quiet.
“It meant that we weren’t as full of width as we often are and didn’t have as many players charging into the attack, but we were safer and we were more secure behind the ball.
“You do feel like you may not be able to get a goal but fortunately we did and we made a couple of changes later on in the game to put more aggressive attacking players in because we know that a draw isn’t good enough at this moment.
“We had to try and win so after a good defensive display we tried to introduce a bit more pace and attacking flair.”
ON DION CONROY’S FINE PERFORMANCE:
“We spoke at half-time about a few key things that were giving him a problem but overall he dealt with the situation of playing against two very good strikers well.”
ON WINNING THE GAME WITH THE LAST KICK:
“It was a dream for me and I would like to never ever score until the board has just gone up because I know my team are familiar with giving away a lead late on in the game and allowing the opposition to have a reaction.
“But to score that late and for the whistle to go almost immediately is my dream come true.”
ON TAKING BELIEF FROM THE WIN:
“I hope that the players feel this is a springboard again and we’ve been in this situation a few times, but I hope now that they feel like they can go anywhere and win a game of football and that they must give everything for the full game.
“Anything is possible.
“They need to remember that feeling of never quitting and keeping going and scoring right at the end is perfect.
“They should take a huge amount of confidence from that.”
ON NATHAN THOMPSON COMING OFF LATE ON:
“Nathan has had a problem with his heel and it begins as a dull pain and it ends up as a sharp pain.
“I felt like he was in too much discomfort and it only needed one mistake and the game was so poised that I didn’t want Nathan to be in a situation where he’s trying to do everything he can and physically he can’t quite do what he wants to do.
“It wasn’t fair to put him in that position and Brad (Barry) was raring to go and it seemed a sensible decision.”
ON PUSHING FOR SAFETY:
“All I can ask for is that people don’t quit and that they fight until the bitter end and I still believe that we will get to safety.
“The players will have learnt a huge amount and they will learn from this season and for the rest of their career that there are certain pitfalls that they must avoid throughout a season and they won’t have to be in this position again.
“It is awful and day to day you are living under a huge cloud.”