Scott Ruscoe says The New Saints aren’t out of UEFA Europa League clash against FC Midtjylland


(Image: Matthew Lofthouse)

New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe admits that they aren’t out of their UEFA Europa League clash against FC Midtjylland, despite trailing by two goals heading into the second leg at the MCH Arena.

The 40-year-old believes they are still in the tie and feels that if his side can get an early goal in Denmark, then they could gain momentum to go onto win the tie – but remained realistic in the aftermath of their 2-0 defeat at the Welsh Capital to FC Midtjylland.

“Football in second legs can sometimes take different turns and maybe they think the tie is over. But realistically we are still in the tie – it’s not over just yet,” he said.

“It ended up finishing 2-0, which isn’t the worst result in the world by any means. The performance overall, I was absolutely thrilled with. We looked fit and strong, and we didn’t give in until that final whistle went.

Cardiff City Stadium, Wales. 9th August, 2018. Welsh Premier League Chmapions TNS host Danish Champions FC Midtjylland at the Cardiff City Stadium in the Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round. Lewis Mitchell/YCPD.

“We go away to FC Midtjylland now, and if we can get an early goal, set up the way we do and work our way into the game and maybe then we will venture forward a bit more. I certainly don’t want to be out of the game straight away.

“But we have to be realistic – we aren’t going to go to Midtjylland and score four/five goals, what we could do though is setup the way we do and hit them on the break, get a goal we could have possibly got tonight and ensure that we stay in the tie.

“We always know we can score and we have clever players who can find the players in space. We are at a level, where we shouldn’t really competing with a side on Midtjylland’s scale, finance wise and players playing internationally.

(Image: Matthew Lofthouse)

“I am not here to moan about my team, but what I am trying to say is that it isn’t an even playing field.”

He was also full of praise for the opposition as Paul Onuachu scored two headers, both of them which come from corners, and compared the Nigerian forward to former WWE superstar, Andre the Giant.

“They’re very strong, the delivery is quality – it is right on the money and if you are not going with your man, you will get punished and we certainly got punished, because from overall play, I don’t think they pressured us an awful lot.

(Image: Matthew Lofthouse)

“The two set plays when you look at it is like playing against Andre the Giant. They score set-plays every week,” he joked.

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Ruscoe was left a proud man at the end of the game at the Cardiff City Stadium and couldn’t fault his troops for sticking in there and fighting against FC Midtjylland and is looking forward to the prospect of visiting the MCH Arena again after being part of the side which lost 5-2 against the Wolves in Denmark during their 2011/2012 UEFA Europa League clash.

“It was a brilliant performance in terms of fitness levels and what I want this side to do with the ball. At times, you can’t ask anymore. I can’t really criticise too much – I need to see the game back again, maybe there are things we need to tinker and maybe get higher up the pitch in the second leg.

“It was a lovely stadium and a really nice place. A fantastic place to play football, they’re very good club, who have a fantastic academy system. They’re not just buying good players, either, they’re buying good players at the right price.”

(Featured image: Matthew Lofthouse)




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