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Ben Garner looks ahead to Rovers clash

Gaffer on local derby

1 October 2021

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Swindon Town Head Coach Ben Garner has stressed that his team are only focussing on them ahead of their local derby on Saturday.

The Reds take on Bristol Rovers at The Memorial Stadium tomorrow (3pm Kick-Off) in what is a highly-anticipated game. 

And, speaking at his pre-match press conference earlier today, Garner insisted that his team will only be worried about what they can control come 3pm tomorrow afternoon. 

"They've been a little bit up and down, that probably would be what their assessment would be," Garner said when asked about Bristol Rovers' start to this season.

"They've got a big squad, they've got a talented squad and I'm sure they will be looking to improve on what they've done so far.

"For the size of the club and the budget in this league, I can imagine they are targeting promotion but our focus is on us - we're not too concerned with what is going on elsewhere.

"Our focus is here and we're looking forward to the game.

"We are concentrating on us and we're not looking out of these four walls. We're focussing in-house and on what we're doing.

"We analyse the opposition and we look at what they've been doing in terms of performances, but our focus is squarely on us and we've got no concerns about what other teams are doing and what they are trying to do this season.

"It is wasted energy for us - all of our energy and focus will be on what we can control.

"It is a derby game but it is the supporters that give it more spice and rightly so - it will be a great atmosphere tomorrow, we'll take a great away following again as we have done in every game but, as professionals, our focus needs to be on our process and our preparation and what we do.

"We can't prepare in any more detail and work any harder than what we do week in and week out, so there is no extra 10 percent to find.

"We're already working at the maximum, we're already putting everything in every single week for every single game because, if we didn't do that, that would be disrespectful to the club and to the supporters because we're not giving everything.

"We give everything every week and the fact that it is a derby game and there is a little bit of extra spice to it, that is added to by the supporters which is fantastic and hopefully that will give us an extra edge tomorrow."

Garner served as Head Coach of Rovers before taking over at SN1 this summer, and the Gaffer gave an honest assessment of his time at The Memorial Stadium ahead of his return tomorrow.

"It didn't go as well as I would have liked and as well as anyone would have liked and there were different reasons for that, but I reflected on everything within my control and what could I learn from my perspective," Garner added.

"Anything that was outside of my control I didn't waste any energy on it because you can't influence that and you can't change those things.

"For me, it made me a stronger person, it made me a better manager and I'm grateful for that experience.

"It was a big change to go from the style of play that was there and the way the team had been built, to wanting to get to the complete opposite of that.

"There is no right or wrong in football, that was the remit to change the style of play to a completely different way, to go younger, to lower the wages, to generate some transfer fees and we did a lot of those things.

"It takes time when you are doing that much of a change and like I said, I've reflected on everything I did there from my perspective and that is why so much credit is due to everyone at this football club.

"Since we've come in, we've become so competitive so quickly which has been underestimated a little bit because it is very, very difficult to do in a short space of time and there has been an enormous amount of work across the football club to make us competitive from day one in the league.

"It took some doing."


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