Changes won’t make TNS any weaker, Valentine warns

Ryan Valentine says The New Saints will be a stiff test for Bala Town on Saturday, even if the newly-crowned Welsh Premier League champions decide to rotate their starting line-up.

TNS arrive at Maes Tegid this weekend for a dress rehearsal of the JD Welsh Cup Final against the Lakesiders in Bangor the following week, and boss Craig Harrison may well be tempted to experiment in what is otherwise a largely meaningless fixture for his team.

But Valentine insists Saints will provide a stern test, regardless of what team Harrison decides to pick.

The defender told Bala’s official website: “I’m not really sure what team to expect from them with having the Cup Final the following week but I’m sure whoever plays will be going out there to win the game.

“TNS have a great squad of players and if players do miss this Saturday’s game I’m sure the ones filling in will be equally capable, similar to ourselves and then of course people will want to keep the shirt for the following week.”

The record-breaking champions will be looking to bounce back from last weekend’s shock 3-0 defeat at Bangor City, while Bala will be aiming to be the first side to condemn Harrison’s men to back-to-back league defeats since Newtown in March last year.

The Lakesiders will also be hoping that Cardiff Met can do them a favour by beating Connahs Quay, who sit level on points with Bala in second place.

But Valentine says Town, who slipped to an entertaining 3-2 defeat when the two sides met last month, must remain focused on their own game and not think too much about permutations elsewhere.

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“I think the only thing we can do is concentrate on ourselves and our own performance and if that’s as good as it can be then I’m sure we can compete for the three points on Saturday.

“If we come in afterwards and Cardiff Met have got a positive result then great, but first and foremost we have to take care of ourselves.”

Photo Credit: Bala Town FC

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