TNS boss Scott Ruscoe says shirts are up for grabs but he won't be hasty

Reporter:

Barrie White

The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe says he will take his time over the changes he knows he needs to make after his side were thrashed in their Welsh Premier League opener by Bangor City.

Ruscoe’s defending champions were beaten 5-2 last Friday night in his first competitive clash since taking the job full time as Craig Harrison’s successor.

But after watching his side’s horror showing on Friday, Ruscoe admits he needs to make changes – but took a positive from the depth of his squad.

“There are probably only two or three who can look back at Friday and think they deserve to start on Saturday,” he said.

“I’m not going to be hasty. We’ll watch the DVD together and see where we went wrong.

“But yes, there are places up for grabs but we won’t be rushed into a decision – we have until Saturday with four days of training.

“If you look at the depth of the squad, we have five or six players who could go straight into the first team.

“The 11 who started Friday were told they had the shirt and to make it hard for me to take it away from them. But when you concede five goals, I don’t think they did.”

Pre-match, Ruscoe drove issued a challenge to the clubs who want to take TNS’s crown away from them.

But the former TNS player believes that while Bangor played well, Saints’ biggest enemy on the night was their own defending as a team.

“We talked before the game about the teams who want to take our title from us,” he added. “I wanted them to stamp their authority on the league.

“We needed to get into our stride again but, believe me, there’s no complacency there. We’ll work on defensive things this week because it needs it because we shoudn’t be conceding five goals at any level.

“You can talk about Rijeka but they were on another level to us. But no-one in the Welsh Premier League shouldn’t be scoring five past us.

“We just didn’t deal with crosses coming in, the first ball or the second ball. We conceded three headers, with one penalty and one decent strike. We can see where we went wrong and how we can do better.

“But, collectively, I don’t think you can completely blame the centre halves because we should be stopping the crosses coming in and stop giving away possession.

“That lets other teams break on us and as much as we control possession, it doesn’t win us games. When we get chances, we have to take them. We were 2-2 at half-time and I thought we were comfortable.

“We’d had the kick up the backside we needed and I thought we’d get a couple of goals after half-time.

“But the the third goal killed us and we didn’t recover, despite having warnings at 1-0 and 2-1.”

Saints will look to bounce back on Saturday as they host Bala Town at Park Hall (5.15pm kick off).

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

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