Rotate squad for Christmas? No way!

Reporter:

Barrie White

Saints boss Craig Harrison doesn’t believe his TNS squad will need rotating over the busy Christmas period, following yet another win on Saturday.

The Dafabet Welsh Premier League champions elect notched up a 17th straight win with a home victory over a spirited Cardiff Met side at The Venue.

TNS had to come from behind with goals from Aeron Edwards and Adrian Cieslewicz, plus an Emlyn Lewis own goal, but with only two game over Christmas, Harrison expects to pick his best 11.

“I’ll be picking my strongest team possible,” he said.

“With our Christmas programme, after this week, not being particularly stressful, there are big gaps between games.

“Yes, this week is busy, but we’ve got good rest periods in between.

“Ryan Pryce missed Saturday through being ill, but he’s already back in training, and Robbie Parry will be missing after he had an operation on his toe on Saturday.

“But apart from that, we’ve got a full squad.”

Harrison was pleased with his side’s more patient approach against a well-organised Cardiff side, under the tutelage of his ex-Crystal Palace teammate, Dr Christian Edwards.

TNS had to wait until nine minutes from time to make the breakthrough, before Cieslewicz finished the job with a minute to go.

“I’m pleased we’ve got the tools to break teams down”, added Harrison. “I’m a very passionate person, and I’m a very vocal person on the sidelines – sometimes I cross that line with how excited I get.

“But Saturday was one for patience and we said that at half-time and before the game.

“We knew they would be disciplined, and we had to be patient. If we score in the 95th minute to win the game, then that’s the way it is.

“It was all about being patient – we believed in what we were doing as it was gaining success but the performance of their back five was keeping us at bay.

“It was only a matter of time before we scored.

“They gave us a good game, but I wouldn’t say they were a threat to beating us.

“Their goal was a mistake – Connell Rawlinson’s back pass was underhit and their lad has gone on to score.

“Defensively, we had to work very hard, but we had lots of great opportunities, especially in the first half.

“Our second may have been seen as a scruffy own goal, but it actually came from lots of pressing, especially from Ryan Brobbel, who got the ball back and crossed, and their centre half has tired and tapped home from three yards out.

“We had to keep asking questions for that to happen.

“It’s strange that people say it was a scruffy goal, but it was a product of sustained pressure.”

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