The NEW SAINTS Boss Scott Ruscoe says his side are ready to step up their pre-season work ahead of glamour friendlies with Glasgow Rangers and Falkirk this week.

Ruscoe's men welcome Scottish Championship side Falkirk to Park Hall on Friday night and then will travel up to Glasgow to play Steven Gerrard's side on Tuesday as both clubs prepare for European qualifiers.

TNS faced the 'Gers' last year, coming away with a 1-1 draw, but Ruscoe knows a much-improved Rangers side bolstered with high-profile signings, plus the Gerrard effect, will give Saints a clearer idea of their progress in 12 months.

"The Rangers game is something I’m looking forward to because it’ll be a test of how far we’ve come," said Ruscoe.

"We played them last year and we drew 1-1 there, but they’ll be a lot stronger this season because of the signings they’ve already made in Jon Flanagan, Scott Arfield and some good loan signings, plus Connor Goldson who used to be Shrewsbury.

"They have some really good players now, so it’ll be great to play them and then go on the following week to play the Macedonian champions.

"We’ve had two wins and a defeat, but we have been able to give the lads near enough full 90 minutes in the games.

"Our link play was good, and we had players joining in while our fitness was excellent but we could have scored more goals. We created more chances compared to the two or three that were created in the Bala defeat.

"We also made a mistake for their goal. But you get your defeats out of the way for pre-season and I’m not too concerned by the result.

"Fitness-wise we looked ok and our general play was good so three games in we’re looking ok.

"Falkirk on Friday and Rangers on Tuesday will be tests for us and the first games where the performance is more important than anything else.

"It’s another two games; we’ll be able to get up to speed for the Champions League and we’ve got another addition to come."

Saints faced two Welsh Premier League sides also preparing for European qualifiers over the last week, as they beat near-neighbours Cefn Druids and then lost to Bala Town.

Aeron Edwards proved to be the match winner in a tight game against the Druids last Wednesday night as he fired home from 12 yards out after receiving the ball from Jamie Mullan.

On Saturday, Ruscoe made 10 changes, with only loan signing Ben Cabango keeping his place, as Saints were beaten 2-1 at Maes Tegid, with Ryan Brobbel putting TNS ahead inside 15 minutes following good work from Greg Draper.

But Bala levelled 10 minutes later and went ahead on the hour as Saints lost.

n Tickets for the second leg against Shkendija are now on general sale, costing from £12.50 for general admission, £20 for silver hospitality and £35 for gold. Head to for more.