The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe is insisting his desire to beat Saturday’s visitors to Park Hall – Bangor City – is borne out of wanting to stretch his side’s lead at the top of the Welsh Premier League and not for revenge.
Ruscoe’s league reign at the champions kicked off with a heavy 5-2 defeat against Bangor, leading to many to incorrectly predict TNS would not win the league.
However, Ruscoe and his side have found their feet and victory over Bangor on Saturday (2.30pm) before the league splits into two will take Saints a step closer to a seventh consecutive title.
“This is the first time we’ve played since the start of the season – it’s the first game of the season and last game before the split,” he said.
“I wouldn’t like to use the word revenge because the last 10 games we’ve played against Bangor, we’ve won nine and lost that one. It was a one-off and you like to think that you can put things right in one of them and return to normal service.
“Yes, I would like to beat them home and show everyone how good we are. If we can put the 5-2 game right, then we can move 14 points clear of Bangor in third and 12 points of Connahs Quay if they lose.
“That’s the only thing I’m thinking of – a good performance and a win that creates a bigger gap as we go into the second half of the season.”
Ruscoe added that he hopes to seal an early title like in recent years because it will help his side concentrate on their plans for Europe, though once again he insisted they were not taking their league title for granted.
He said: “We want to get this league won early because we’re on an upward spiral. We want to be getting fitter and stronger for Europe. We want to be equal to some of these teams in the draw we might have and if we can’t be better than we can be fitter.
“We need to be sure we’re in the right place going into the games and be on the front foot. But we need to be in the best physical shape we can be.”