The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe has admitted he was delighted with his side’s response to a shock home defeat against Newtown with two wins in a week.

Saints recorded a 3-0 win at Bala Town before running out 4-1 winners at Prestatyn Town on Friday night, both in difficult conditions, and opened up a nine-point gap at the top of the Welsh Premier League.

And Ruscoe is happy with where his side are ahead of the mid-season split next week and three huge cup clashes, including a week Saturday’s Nathaniel MG Cup final.

“The wins this week were great – back to business,” he said. “Tuesday against Bala was brilliant in some of the worst conditions I’ve ever seen as it was freezing and we couldn’t even see, never mind the players.

“I thought played we really well. I asked for a response from the Newtown game and they did brilliantly with a clean sheet too.

“Then we went to Prestatyn on Friday night, which while they’ve lost a lot of games, was a potential banana skin. They were a young side but it was a heavy pitch. We tried to play in the right areas and I’m a little disappointed we conceded right at the end.

“But four goals away from home in a professional performance. If someone had said before the festive period that we would be nine points clear, a League Cup final, another Irn-bru semi-final and you’ve got a lower league team in the Welsh Cup, albeit a good one, I’d have taken that.

“It’s not just about where we are though as the performances have been excellent. We’ve dropped off a few, but we’ve largely been on an upward curve.

“Even the Newtown defeat last week; if we hadn’t have given the ball away around the box then we’d have gone 3-0 and not 2-0. Decisions win matches and change games; if you’re not on your mettle and ruthless, that loses games.”

Ruscoe added that he is expecting to bolster his squad with some signings ahead of the transfer window following the loss of Callum Roberts and Ryan Leak, who have returned to their clubs.

He said: “We’ve got players coming next week on trial that we’re having a look at and we’ll know in a few weeks what we’re doing with our squad.

“There’s going to be at least one signing, or maybe two. We won’t need to spend money because these lads have just finished their seasons and are both free.

“They’re very good pedigree footballers. We’re not just looking at players in our league or around, we’re looking at above that and at the right age.

“We can sign them now if we want to. Let me be clear, we don’t take it for granted that we’re going to be qualifying for Europe but it is fair to say we’re planning to have a squad and a team that can play in Europe next summer.”