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REACTION: Garner - We deserved the three points

Gaffer on Oldham win

12 March 2022

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Swindon Town Head Coach Ben Garner praised his team's character and felt the three points were richly deserved.

The Reds left it late to beat Oldham Athletic in the EFL Sky Bet League Two at The County Ground earlier today, with Dion Conroy's stoppage time header securing a huge three points.

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

GARNER ON THE RESULT...

"We always hope it does (that a goal would arrive), we were the team obviously pushing and trying to force it. I  thought their keeper was excellent in the second-half, to be honest, and it was just a case of where we could beat them, but great character to keep going, to keep pushing.

"We kept trying to play. I know we scored late on, but we thoroughly, thoroughly deserved the three points."

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GARNER ON OLDHAM...

"They were no different to what was expected. We knew they were going to sit in and try and make it difficult.

"Like I say, their goalkeeper played very very well. Overly physical game, in my opinion, I thought there were some bad tackles in the first-half and we were fortunate not to come away with another injury on the back of those.

I thought in the first-half we were a little bit slow in the first five minutes, but I thought the rest of the half, between the two boxes in terms of our control, best we’ve played in a long time in terms of that.

"Just didn’t spark enough in the final-third in that first-half, but really really good. Good spells in the second-half, I thought we cut through them a few times and, like I said, the goalkeeper played well, or we didn’t get our finish right but we kept going, kept pushing and thoroughly deserve the three points."

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GARNER ON PERFORMING IN THE FINAL-THIRD...

"It's the hardest part of the game, that’s why the best players in the world go for the money they do and they get paid the wages they do, because that ability to unlock or find the pass or find that finish is the hardest part of the game.

"We got into positions regularly and we had some really good bits of play and didn’t make it count and I thought we were a little bit slow sometimes in the first-half. I think when a team sits, you take that extra touch or that extra second, rather than actually backing yourself and going no, I’m going to do this quick. We did that better in the second-half. It took a set-piece at the end, but we take the three points and move on very happily."

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GARNER ON THE OPPOSITION'S DISCIPLINE...

"There was a lot of bookings in there. There were two or three tackles which, for me, were just excessive force. No need to do it. The one on Jayden (Mitchell-Lawson) that he gets the yellow for, he gets the ball, but why is he following through with his other leg and trying to injure a player?

"I just don’t get it.

"There was one in the second-half, their number eight, (Callum) Whelan on Jack Payne. Luckily, Payney got out the way. He got the ball, but he comes flying through with his other leg. I just don’t understand it, I just don’t understand why there’s a place for that in the game.

"No need for it, you know, they were organising their shape, they were doing well, making it hard for us but I was worried at times about the welfare of our players. 

"We kept our composure very well. Kept trying to pass the ball, kept sticking to the game plan and it's hard when you go into those closing stages.

"The temptation is to just whack it up there and hope for something to drop, but that rarely happens and, you know, a little bit of quality at the end. We were patient and then Mandela Egbo wins the free-kick, does ever so well, and fantastic ball in and a great header."

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GARNER ON CHANGING FROM A BACK FIVE TO A BACK FOUR...

"I wanted to stretch their back four. I thought Jayden (Mitchell-Lawson) would do that for us, and I thought Jayden played really well today, I thought he did really well, really really pleased with him.

"I just thought it was the best shape for today. We’re going to have to go game to game a little bit at the moment, in terms of options available and what we think is right for each game.

"I felt that was the right way to go today and, like I say, in the first five minutes we started a little bit slow, gave them sort of a couple of sighters, but then got complete control.

"Really really good, they moved personnel around to try and cope with it a little bit better, but we were really, really dominant. I thought our passing through the thirds was really, really good today.

"We had a number of shots, we’d have liked more goals. Somedays you have those games where it's tough and it's tight and I think it's the sign of a good team when you can win late on. We’ve done that a number of times this season.

"I remember the great Man United teams - the amount of times they’ve scored in injury time because they kept going, they kept believing and it's an important trait to have if you’re going to be a successful team."

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GARNER ON MANDELA EGBO...

"Yeah really good. I mean, I’ve known Mandela (Egbo) since he was twelve or thirteen-years-old and it's great to have him here. He’s a great character, fits within the group really well and he gives us athleticism and quality.

"He’s been training with us since January, so he knows how I play because he was in my teams as a kid and he knows how we work, how we train.

"He’s normally a right-back, right-wing-back but I just thought Jayden (Mitchell-Lawson’s) first start in a while was tiring a little bit and I thought Mandela would give us extra impetus and energy and he did that, adjusted to the game really well and hopefully he can play a role for us in this run-in. 

"It wasn’t hard to convince him (to sign). Once he came in and trained for us for a week or two, he wanted to sign then, it was just because of the squad size here and players in that position we just weren’t able to do anything with what we had in place.

"Now that we have got a sort of potential slot for him we’ve done it straight away, no hesitation on his part. I think a good move all around for everyone. 

"Mandela can play two or three positions for us, no problem. He can play on the left as well, I just think he gives us something a little bit different and gives us extra competition and depth which is what we want."

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GARNER ON LATE GOALS...

"We’ve got to bring ourselves back down quickly. Obviously, it's fantastic to do it at Bradford, fantastic to do it here today but we’ve got another game on Tuesday, so they’ll enjoy it in that dressing room now but we’re back to work tomorrow, we’re back to training tomorrow in preparation for a big game, a big game on Tuesday and then another big day on Saturday.

"So, I thought the effort today and the fact that we scored an injury-time goal and we’re still pushing with our third game in a week with limited moments at the moment is a huge moment to that group and their desire to win for this football club."

 


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