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Ben Garner's Pre-Carlisle Presser In Full

Read the Gaffer's thoughts before Saturday

18 February 2022


Ben Garner's Pre-Carlisle Presser In Full

Read the Gaffer's thoughts before Saturday

18 February 2022

Swindon Town Head Coach Ben Garner held his pre-match Press Conference earlier today ahead of tomorrow's EFL Sky Bet League Two clash against Carlisle United.

And, ahead of Saturday's game (3pm Kick-Off), Town fans can now read the thoughts of the Gaffer in full right here...


"Ben has some damage in his hamstring from Saturday and that has unfortunately ruled him out," Garner said.

"It is going to be a period of time.

"We have an idea (of a timeframe), I never like to say it because I just think you open things up by doing that, but he'll certainly miss a few games.

"He's positive in his mindset and he's already underway with his rehab and his recovery, we'll get him back as quickly as we can and hopefully he can have a strong finish to the season.

"Jack Payne is progressing but it is just one of those injuries where you have to take it step-by-step with the final stages. 

"He's ticking boxes daily, he hasn't got through a full session yet but he's getting there and we're getting to the closing stages of that now

"He won't be in the squad and I don't think he will travel. Jack hasn't got through a full session yet and what we aren't going to do is take a risk on him for one game where we've got 15 more games after this, and also the rest of Jack's career.


"That's the priority, we'll make sure he's right and he's worked really hard. His conditioning is excellent, really, really good and it is just the type of injury that you need to go through certain things like striking a ball properly, a blocked tackle and he's ticking those boxes.

"He's getting through them but Saturday is just too soon."

"Jonny Williams is good and he comes back into the squad. He trained fully for the first time on Thursday, so he will travel and come back into the squad which is great.

"Dion Conroy is getting closer and I would imagine he will be available from next week. I don't see any issues with that.

"He built up some training yesterday, he hasn't done a full session but he should do that in the early part of next week and come back into the fold.

"Progress on a lot of the fronts. We've lost Ben but we'll recover him and get him back as quickly as possible."



"I know Keith well. He's a good guy and we had a couple of really good seasons together at Crystal Palace," Garner said.

"He's a good football man, he's been in the game a long time and he's very, very experienced.

"He's a good coach, he'll have Carlisle well-organised and, similar to Scunthorpe last week, they are fighting for their lives and they are scrapping for every point.

"We know going there that we are going to have to fight and scrap for absolutely everything on that pitch tomorrow.

"But, like Scunthorpe and like the remaining games this season, we are going there to attack, we are going there to be brave and to play our football and we want to come back with the three points.

"They changed shape last week and got a good point at Colchester and scored two good goals, and I think they'll be very pleased with that point.

"You always look at what is in front of you, what you see from the games, what the data is telling you and from that you base what you think they are going to do on what their strengths are and where we feel we can hurt them and we go there with a game plan to win the game.

"We want to go there, score goals and win the game."


"We haven't found Joe yet. I'm not on any social media platforms, but I'm obviously aware of it and I've seen the letter, but as far as I'm aware, he hasn't been found.

"I think the fantastic thing it has done is raise a lot of awareness and I know a lot of money has been raised and awareness around things like Food Banks and things like that.

"Hopefully we can find him if he's out there but the positive thing is it has raised awareness and it is doing some good, which is great.

"Ultimately, football has always been a working-class sport and, certainly in my lifetime and from growing up, football was a luxury and certainly for me and a lot of friends growing up.

"It was one of those things you could rarely afford as a kid and it was a very, very rare thing to go to a football game, so we need to stay in touch with that and football should be for everyone.

"We need to make sure we don't price families out of this wonderful sport and hopefully this can raise some awareness for that."



"The lovely thing with Ricky (Aguiar) is that you saw him grow with confidence during the game against Scunthorpe, and he grew into the role, he's matured a lot this season both on and off the pitch and he took that opportunity to come on and show what he could do.

"He had a really good loan at Chippenham and we've still got depth within the squad. A number of these players we brought in to develop was to give them opportunities, so when these opportunities arise everyone wants them to take it with both hands.

"That is the sort of environment we try and create and, as always, whether it is an injury or a suspension, it does open up the opportunity for someone to come in and take their chance."



"The weight of it (his pass against Scunthorpe) and the little bit of cut just to die it into Harry (McKirdy) was top, top class and you won't see many better passes this season in any of the divisions.

"Ellis has got the quality to do that and he's developing that all the time.

"He's growing as a player, he's having the best season of his career which we're delighted with and it was a wonderful goal.

"On the other side of that, it still had to be finished and it was a great take from Harry and a really great finish from a tight angle.

"You need that flexibility and versatility within a squad and we've got players like Ellis and Rob Hunt who can play different positions

"The key for Ellis this season has been staying fit and getting a run of games and developing his game understanding.

"He's a fantastic lad, brilliant in the dressing room, a great character, always bubbly, always smiling and he's really maturing as a football player.

"I think this can be a season that really pushes him forward in his career."


"I think there was a turning point after Tranmere and I noticed a real focus and determination from the group from that point onwards.

"This is an improving group, it is a developing group and if you look on Saturday, there's five or maybe six outfield players who hadn't played for the club before Christmas, so half your team is new and coming together.

"Those relationships are forming on and off the pitch and they are getting stronger all the time.

"There's a good mood, there's a good feel around the place, it is a good dressing room and that will be really, really important moving into the closing stages of the season."

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