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League Two

Robins will take same approach in second leg, says Garner

16 May 2022

Swindon Town head coach Ben Garner says his side will stick to their game plan in the second leg of the Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi-Final away to Port Vale.

The Robins have the upper hand, having won the first leg 2-1, courtesy of a Harry McKirdy brace at The County Ground.

McKirdy found the back of the net against his ex-employers, who snatched a goal back in the second period, but it is Swindon who have the advantage ahead of their trip to Vale Park later this week.

"We won the game which is great and we're going to do the same on Thursday to try and win the second leg as well,” Garner said.

"There will be no change to our approach in terms of how we've approached every away game this season.”

Overall, the 41-year-old believed his side deserved the win on Sunday, offering particular praise for the Robins’ back-line

"I thought good first half, I thought we allowed it to become a little bit end-to-end, a little bit fight ball in the second half for a spell of it,” he continued.

"I thought we defended ever so well from open play and set-pieces. I thought both centre-backs were brilliant, absolutely brilliant, and you know you've got to stand up to the direct balls, the second balls and I thought we really restricted them in the second half.

"But we then got better control and I didn't see them scoring, if anything I thought we'd go on and get a third, but we're delighted with the win and we're looking forward to Thursday now.”

Clarke on late boost heading into home leg

Port Vale boss Darrell Clarke was relieved that his side were able to pull a goal back, despite what he deemed to be a lacklustre showing from the Valiants.

“The Play-Offs can be like that,” he stated. “We are very disappointed certainly in the first goal we conceded. It was very sloppy. They didn’t really have a lot until that but then we were chasing the game. They nicked the second but in the second half we were a lot better, on the front foot.

“But we have to be better, better with the ball. I have been saying that for a few weeks now, so it is time to produce that. But too right we are still in the cup tie.”

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The former midfielder had words with his players following the first leg defeat but encouraged them that all is still to play for.

He added: “I don’t know whether it is because of the big occasions that they are not showing me that quality, but I won’t have it.

“I have said it to them in the changing rooms, I won’t have that. I want players to show me that big players to turn up in big games. There are not enough of our lads have done that, but they have another opportunity on Thursday night so let’s get behind the boys.

“I have had a go at them, but I will pick them up and we will be ready like our home fans will be on Thursday.

“The late goal gives us a right boost. We just have to win our home game – it is as simple as that.”


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