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REACTION: Garner keen to focus on the positives

Gaffer gives his verdict on Rovers draw

22 January 2022

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Swindon Town Head Coach Ben Garner was keen to focus on the positives in the wake of his team's 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers at The County Ground earlier today.

On what was Derby Day at SN1, the honours were shared in the EFL Sky Bet League Two after Aaron Collins cancelled out Tyreece Simpson's opener.

And, in the wake of the game, Garner sat down with the local media to give his thoughts on the result, the performance and lots more...


"I was really pleased with how we competed.

"I thought it was a difficult game, they were very aggressive and on the front foot all over the pitch, and I was pleased with how we stood up to that and how we competed.

"We weren't as good with the ball as we normally would be and what we should be, I would have liked for us to have been a little braver but we can improve that.

"Those are things we can work on but, in terms of the character and the desire to compete, that was very pleasing.

"It became a bitty game and it became a stop-start game because of the amount of fouls, the amount of stoppages and it was hard to get flow into the game, which is how I think they wanted it.

"They pressed high with a three and because of the weather this week, the pitch was a bit dry because we've had the deep frost and we've had to have the frost covers on it, so I don't think the ball rolled as it normally would.

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"It allowed them to press and they were aggressive and we needed to be a bit sharper and a bit quicker.

"I thought the spell in the first-half when we scored and we had balls coming across goal, we needed that second goal and I thought we were really good then.

"We had some good spells in the second-half but not for long enough periods of the game.

"We made too many technical errors today, which is unlike us, but they are things we can improve and learn from.

"But that's four points from six against them and they are one of the biggest teams in this division with certainly one of the biggest budgets, so we take the positives from that.

"That's five unbeaten at home, we take the positives from that and we just want to turn those draws into wins."

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"We don't get up quick enough as a defensive line, we should have been a lot higher than we were when the cross comes in and it makes it difficult for Wardy (Lewis Ward) because of the depth of our line, their players are going for it and he doesn't know whether it is going to be flicked on or not.

"We didn't get pressure on the ball quick enough and we didn't get our line high enough, so it was a disappointing goal but, other than that, we restricted them to very little.

"There wasn't much, there were a couple of blocked shots from the edge, there's one where Wardy has made a save from a player coming inside and that was it, so from a defensive point of view it was pretty good.

"If it would have got to half-time and we were ahead I think we certainly would have gone on to win the game.

"I thought our fitness would show in the closing stages but there were a lot of stoppages, it was bitty and I thought it should have been 16 minutes added on, not six, but that's where we are."

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"We knew it was going to be a different game but I felt that was the right team for the game.

"I thought because of the type of game it was it was difficult to make changes in terms of how we'd set up. We didn't quite get our defensive press today, it wasn't quite right and I thought we allowed them to build a little bit too easily at times.

"We probably had less than 50 percent possession today, which is really unlike us, but on the flip-side of that we competed, we stood up to things, we created the better chances and we're disappointed with the goal we conceded.

"It was disappointing not to win the game knowing we can play a lot, lot better.

"I thought the front two looked like creating something, I thought we looked like doing something even at the end, Tyreece Simpson put a wonderful cross in and Harry McKirdy has nearly scored, Harry breaking at the end and if he doesn't get brought down it is an opportunity.

"In terms of front changes I thought they looked good our front two in terms of creating and doing something.

"I didn't want to go away from our shape we worked on because sometimes if you change shape with 20 minutes to go, all of a sudden it is what are we doing now, we've changed shape and we haven't worked on it this week.

"I wanted to keep it consistent and I thought we'd finish stronger. The lad at the end was down for four or five minutes and that killed the game a little bit."

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