Scott Ruscoe: New Saints have had to be patient in title race
Manager Scott Ruscoe says his New Saints have had to be patient in their bid for their eighth straight Welsh Premier League title.
The New Saints can claim the title this weekend but for a large part of the season, Scott Ruscoe’s side had to sit below Connah’s Quay and at times Barry Town United.
Should Connah’s Quay fail to win at Maes Tegid against Bala Town tomorrow then the Welsh Premier League title will remain at Park Hall. If Connah’s Quay win then The New Saints can win the title themselves at Jenner Park.
“We have had to bide our time and have certainly had to be patient to get to where the club needs to be, which is top of the league,” said Ruscoe.
“We have been in an unusual situation where we’ve been in second and third place for long periods. However the league isn’t won in November and I was always confident that when we got on a good run we would take our chance at the top again.”
“This season has been the closest for several years. The standard of the league has certainly improved, as has the quality of coaching through the FAW coach education programme.”
The former midfielder says they’ve taken inspiration from the Barry team of yesteryear.
From 1995 to 2003, Barry won seven out of eight Welsh Premier League titles, scoring more than 100 goals in two of those title wins.
“I remember how high they set standards the first time around, more often than not I would have been on the receiving end of a very tough game, they were the benchmark for our league. I hope all three of us can continue to improve the coefficient of the league in Europe in years to come.”
“Barry Town have also been putting in excellent performances. Qualifying for Europe last week has been great to see from a club that have only recently been back in The Welsh Premier league. A really pleasing achievement.”
For the first time in seven years, The New Saints didn’t have top spot at Christmas. However, that has seen them reach new levels of consistency.
Their last defeat came in November when they were victims of a huge cup shock defeat to second-tier Cambrian & Clydach Vale.
Since then they’ve gone on to convincingly beat teams with only Bala Town and Barry Town United able to take points off of them. The New Saints have also booked their place in the JD Welsh Cup final where they will take on rivals Connah’s Quay Nomads.
“Consistency is a key ingredient in any good team. When you start to perform well and go on a run it builds momentum and you feel that you don’t want it to end.
“We have gone a long time now undefeated after two defeats in a row in November. The players have been fantastic, showing a real hunger in their play, which can be seen in the score lines.
“We have the best goals scored in the league and least goals conceded with the most clean sheets too. We must be doing something right.”
The New Saints travel to Jenner Park Stadium on Saturday evening.
(Featured Image:Will Cheshire)