While he cut a disappointed figures, The New Saints man in charge Scott Ruscoe is insistent his side will bounce back from defeat at home to Newtown against Bala Town tonight.
Saints raced into a two-goal lead at home on Saturday, courtesy of finishes from Greg Draper and Jamie Mullan, but Newtown hit back with four goals while Robbie Parry was sent-off – Saints second red card is as many games.
But Ruscoe was also quick to point out that while the second home league defeat of the year was tough to take, TNS still have a healthy lead atop the Welsh Premier League.
“Playing Bala today is a positive as it enables us to right some wrongs against Newtown,” he said. “We trained New Year’s Day and we’ll be ready for them.
“They’re a decent side and we’ve got to be at our best to get a victory there. They’ll be up for it now they’ve seen this result against Newtown and it’ll be a tough physical game.
“But we’ll be back at it, we’ll have trained o get our focus and we’ll be ready for them. There’ll certainly be one change made as Parry is out but it won’t be drastic.
“We’ll pick the best team we think will win. But remember that we are still six points ahead with a game in hand.
“A week is a long time in football – we’ll look to bounce back.”
Aside from the result, Ruscoe admitted he was most disappointed by his side’s failure to stick to their high standards.
But he also felt that the defeat could also be consigned as ‘one of those days’.
He added: “We were 2-0 up and for about 20-odd minutes we passed the ball really well, but then we started making decisions that were just not us.
“We didn’t make the short pass but tried to play through. We tried to force it a little and that gave them a foothold in the game and get at us a little, ruffle us.
“As soon as you stop doing things you’re good at, then you’re in trouble because everything is alien to you and you’re doing things you’re not used to – you’re out of your comfort zone.
“Going down to 10 men doesn’t help you but I thought going into the second half we’d be the better side and we could have got our noses in front.
“At half-time, it was a case of keep doing what you’re doing because it was like last time when we had 10 men and we were the better side. That wasn’t a problem for me.
“The problem came when we stopped doing the things we’re good at with our decision making, in possession and defensively we were quite poor.
“The things where we would tidy up and play, or get tight, we were second best to the ball each time. We started arguing with the ref a little so when you start losing focus you get negativity in your play and that wasn’t us.
“In the second half, while we had chances to get in front or even get back into the game, it just seemed if things were going to go wrong, it was going to be today.”
Saints travel to Bala Town for a 7.45pm kick-off.