The New Saints boss Craig Harrison has challenged his players to break Ajax’s Guinness world record of 26 consecutive wins in all competitions on Friday.

TNS equalled the record with a hard-fought 4-0 win over Cefn Druids on Boxing Day (see Page 71) to make it 26 in a row.

Harrison insisted they will go to Cefn for Friday night’s return fixture intending to win – “business as usual” – and break the record in the process, echoing the message given all season.

“People ask me how I keep the players focused, but I tell them they’ve got to embrace it,” said Harrison.

“Just as I and all the staff here all do, and Mike Harris our chairman, surely the players want to be the squad that did it. What more motivation do they need – to be the team to win 27 games consecutively?

“It’s a fantastic achievement, but as I’ve said 100 times, our eyes are on the prize at the end, which is the league.

“The record is a bonus. It’s creeping up on us though, but 26 wins in a row is an unbelievable achievement.”

Saints struggled for the first 30 minutes on Monday, but Harrison admitted the goals before half-time took the sting out of his team talk, and insisted it was right to take two-goal Adrian Cieslewicz off to protect him early in his comeback.

He added: “I’ve got good staff who helped me realise it would be best leave that rollicking for another day.

“So instead of going crazy at half- time, the more productive thing to is go through the video analysis and show them what they didn’t do, and where there’s no hiding place.

“Ciss hasn’t played longer than 20 minutes for a long time and he’s an explosive player. If he’d scored a hat-trick but pulled his hamstring, then that’s no help.”