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Ben Garner's Pre-Port Vale Press Conference In Full

Catch up on what the Gaffer had to say

19 May 2022

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Swindon Town Head Coach Ben Garner met with the local media on Wednesday to preview tonight's EFL Sky Bet League Two Playoff Semi-Final Second-Leg against Port Vale at Vale Park.

Here's what the Gaffer said in full...


"We’re good. We’re as we were on Sunday. We’ve got quite a few bumps and bruises and cuts, but other than that, we’re all good."



"I think it’s a little bit different with when you’re playing the same team back-to-back, so you’re not preparing for a new team. Obviously, we’ve seen each other in close quarters on Sunday and it's more fine-tuning going into the next game for both teams, I would imagine. 

"They obviously will have had a good look at our strengths and what we’re about, and vice versa with us with them, so I think it’s a case of who performs best now on Thursday night.

"I don’t think there are any surprises coming in terms of what each team is about, or what each club is about. We have got to go and perform and focus on winning that game."



"As I said before the Playoffs, I don’t think anything in the league campaign has any impact on what happens in the Playoffs, it’s a completely different competition, it’s a completely different mindset and mentality.

"We’ve won the first game on Sunday, which we’re delighted about, but we want to go and win the Second-Leg as well. That’s our only focus. We can learn from what’s happened, but we need to make sure that has an impact on Thursday."


"I do that for most games in terms of mapping out how you think the game will go, how you think you’re going to react if you need to chase the game, how you’re going to react if you’re ahead.

"I do that for all games and have scenarios and different substitutions you would look to make. In this instance, I think that we’ve just got to focus on winning the game and if we can get to the last 10/15 minutes and there’s a certain scenario in play, then we might have to change.

"But, prior to that, I think we treat it like a normal league game. Go and try to win and focus on that as best we can."



"Really well, really well. I think there’s a really good mentality within the group. There’s a good confidence, not overconfidence, but a good confidence. Prepared well again, recovered well. Really happy. Really happy with how the group is.

"We can play a lot better than we did on Sunday, that’s for sure. I thought our commitment, our defending, our intensity, we looked a threat. But, we can play a lot lot better with the ball and I would expect that to be the case on Thursday."



"We need to be brave, we need to show the courage that we have shown throughout the season. The game on Sunday, I think the first 15 minutes, when you’re trying to play into feet and you’re constantly getting fouled, it’s not being managed well, the game, it does affect you because you think well every time I’m getting the ball here, I’m getting tackled from behind, I’m getting fouled.

"So, we need the officials to be better on Thursday, in my opinion, in terms of managing that and allowing players to play the game. We need to improve in that respect ourselves. Our mentality needs to be good and we need to show our quality as well.

"Our mindset is that we would hope that they would have to weather a storm from us at the start of the game.

"We want to start on the front foot.

"We want to be the aggressor straight away. We want to be the team attacking and we’re certainly not going there to sit and soak up pressure.

"That’s not us, that’s not the way we play. So, yes they’ll be determined, yes they’ll come out fighting and obviously have got to chase the game, but we’ll be doing the same. We’ll be going there to win and to attack the game. 

"I think we counterattacked very well on Sunday. Probably could have had 1, if not 2 more goals in that scenario certainly, and that’s a strength of ours. If Port Vale over commit, or if they do leave spaces, we have players with the speed and quality that can hurt them and that’s an important part of our armoury going into the game."


Yeah, I’m looking forward to it, as are the players. I enjoyed Sunday, I thought it was a really good atmosphere. I felt calm, I thought the players felt calm and in control and good with their emotions.

"I will expect that to be the same on Thursday. We’re excited by it, we’re looking forward to it, but we just want to go and perform and hopefully win the game and get through to the final."

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