The New Saints boss Craig Harrison is keeping his players focused on nothing but sealing the Dafabet Welsh Premier League as soon as possible after taking another step towards winning it on Saturday.
Goals from a resurgent Adrian Cieslewicz and an Alex Darlington penalty were enough to steer Saints past a stubborn Cardiff Met, who gave the champions-elect a fright at The Venue.
In a season of records smashed already, Harrison acknowledged that going unbeaten in the league all season – with two more cups to potentially win – is possible, but wants the league won as soon as possible.
“It could be an unbeaten season, but the main thing is we want to win the league as soon as possible,” he said.
“I think we need six points and we’d like to get that done as soon as possible.
“We got three points in the end on Saturday, but Cardiff came to play football. They always do, and they’ve been a breath of fresh air this year – I think they’ve been fantastic.
“Christian Edwards is a very good manager with good players who work hard for him. They came here with nothing to lose and gave us a very good game.
“It was a good game, certainly for the neutral, but maybe not for me.
“For me, it was a bit too open and I thought we could have controlled it a bit more, but that’s the way the game goes some times.
“We had five or six really good chances – and obviously scored two goals – while they’ve had one good chance where Paul Harrison has made a fantastic save.”
With the Saints scoring goals for fun in 2016/17, Harrison admitted being defensively solid against a Cardiff team determined to attack was another positive to enjoy about Saturday’s win.
He added: “As an ex-defender, I take great pride in the fact we’ve kept a clean sheet – and so do the goalkeeper and the back four. Even the midfielders take pride in keeping a clean sheet.
“We’ve got aims and objectives and one one of them is to keep as many clean sheets as we can. The lads have ticked that box well against Cardiff.”
Nearest rivals Gap Connah’s Quay and Bala Town are both on 43 points,.
Connah’s Quay lost at home to Carmarthen Town – who Saints face on Saturday – while Bala beat Bangor City, meaning TNS are 24 points ahead with 27 more points to play for.
A win at Carmarthen, regardless of other results, would set up the home clash with Bangor City on March 3 as the night TNS would seal their sixth title on the trot.
But Harrison is expecting a tough test from their southern rivals.
He said: “Carmarthen beat Gap Connah’s Quay and that goes to show they are a good team. They’re fit and their manager has them tactically very switched on.
“They’ve always got a game plan and they know they have to do something different if they’re going to win games like this. It’s going to be a hard test.
“But we’re on a great run now and we’re looking forward to getting down there.”