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Garner - We're looking forward to it

Gaffer On City Test

6 January 2022

Swindon Town Head Coach Ben Garner says his team are well prepared for the challenge awaiting them and are looking forward to pitting their wits against the very best.

The day is nearly here with the Reds set to take on Premier League giants Manchester City in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup at The County Ground on Friday night - 8pm Kick-Off.

With the ITV1 cameras in attendance and a sell out crowd expected, it will be a special occasion for the Football Club, despite the fact that Pep Guardiola and several key City players will be absent due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Due to their abundance of riches, any team the Sky Blues put out will be incredibly hard to beat, but Garner has insisted that his team are up for and are relishing the challenge.

"They've got wonderful strengths, a fantastic team both with and without the ball, so we know it is going to be a huge challenge but we've prepared the same way we always do ahead of every game," Garner said.

"I watch the opposition, identify what their strengths are and how they are going to play but then come up with how we're going to play and how we think we can win the game.

"That is no different for Friday night.

"Obviously, tactically it is a lot different to what we usually face but it is a game that we want to go and win.

"We've prepared well and we're really looking forward to it.

"We follow the same process for every game, there is nothing different this week and we prepare in detail every game and this is no different.

"We're certainly not going overboard and, likewise, we're not cutting corners.

"We are what we are as a group, what we believe in and we're not going to go away from those principles, those beliefs because we can't.

"If we try and play a different way suddenly, we're not going to do it very well because we've not worked on it all season.

"We'll continue to prepare, train and play the way that we do but we are also very realistic with that, knowing that this is a team that has a lot of possession and presses very, very well.

"Are we going to have as much possession as we normally have this season? I very much doubt it, but we've got to find ways to be good when we do have the ball and it is important we're brave.

"If we just give the ball back then it is coming back time and time and time again and we're just going to end up defending the whole game, so we want to be brave, we want to try and play our football and we want to attack with purpose.

"Obviously, defensively we're going to have to be very, very good and perform at our highest levels to have a chance to win the game."

While there has been an incredible buzz around The County Ground this week, Garner has insisted that it has been like business as usual for his players.

"I've not seen any nerves this week and it has been a normal week for us," Garner continued.

"Having that routine and having that way we train and prepare probably gives some comfort and some consistency, and we've got to embrace it.

"I'm sure there will be butterflies and nerves before the game for a lot of the players, but it is fantastic having that pressure and it is an honour to be able to represent this Football Club and go into this game on Friday night.

"No one gives us a chance so we've got nothing to lose. We're nice and positive and we go into the game and just give it everything we've got."

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