Scott Ruscoe impressed with defender Ben Cabango as New Saints take advantage heading into second leg against Lincoln Red Imps

New Saints manager Scott Ruscoe was thrilled with New Saints loanee Ben Cabango as he stayed firm as the Welsh Premier League Champions defeated Lincoln Red Imps 2-1 in the first leg courtesy of goals from Dean Ebbe and Blaine Hudson.

Despite being the tender age of 18, Cabango was superb in the first-leg and Ruscoe was delighted with his performance in the win over the Red Imps at Park Hall.

“I have to say, I was really impressed with him, he didn’t put a foot wrong again. He was playing against an experienced centre-forward, who was trying to rock him and roughen him up, but Ben stood firm, and I think he could see off bigger and better players off, as well,” said The New Saints manager.

Ruscoe was also pleased to come away with the lead heading into the second-leg but believes his side must do better if they want to advance into the next phase of the UEFA Europa League.

“It is always nice to win, but I wasn’t happy about the away goal, personally I would have liked a bigger margin. If I am being honest, I wouldn’t have thought we could have reached those levels of last week, because we were superb.

“This week, though, I felt we looked a little bit off it in spells but then again in the second half, we could have scored more than just two goals.

“Its good that we got that win but we must do better. It was never going to be easy against a side who win their league nine times out of 10 and playing in the Europe League and I am just happy to come away with a win to take into the second leg.”

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The New Saints boss believes that sometimes the performance is more important than the result, but admitted his frustration at his side for giving away a cheap away goal on Thursday evening, which he felt the visitors didn’t deserve.

“It was a good win, you don’t think you have to beat teams 4/5/6, because It is the level of performance which is sometimes more important than the result. I would have taken that before the start of the night, but I feel that they got an away goal which perhaps didn’t merit their performance tonight.”

And the Shrewsbury-born manager was in confident spirit heading into the second leg in Gibraltar as they seek a place in the third qualification phase of the UEFA Europa League.

“I was confident heading into tonight because I know we can always score goals, we will always create chances, we just need to be hungry and better in the second-leg.

Like I said, the Champions League is here, the Europa League is here. We need to walk before we can run, we need to get good results in that for us and for the other clubs in the Welsh Premier League to compete in Europe.”

“We know that they’re a good technical side. They win their league most seasons, and when you are used to winning, it is not nice when you put in an abject performance. We know what we are up against, they’re a decent side. I think we are fitter than them, and I think we will be over there. We just need to manage the game better than we did over here.”

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Featured Image: Brian Jones

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