The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe has praised the mentality of his players as they stand just one game away from an eighth straight Welsh Premier League title.

His side have scored 13 goals without reply in four days, starting with Wednesday’s 7-0 win at Bala Town, which was followed by a six-goal show at Newtown on Saturday.

Ruscoe believes his players have stepped up to the plate in recent weeks, moving past both Saturday night’s opponents Barry Town United, and Connah’s Quay Nomads, whose defeat at Caernarfon on Friday night sent TNS into their Newtown clash with a spring in their step.

“At any stage of the season we’d be delighted with 13 goals in two games, plus the clean sheets too,” said Ruscoe.

“We’re scoring at will and the performances have been excellent; not just Saturday and last Wednesday but looking at the players before games, there’s a great focus.

“I will reiterate: every single day they’ve been raising the bar really and they know what’s needed. Some of them know they haven’t performed to last tear’s standard and you can see it.

“That’s the reaction we wanted and long may it continue. I think it’s why the likes of Connah’s Quay have dropped off because we keep performing.

“That’s not me being arrogant, it’s just the way it is. They haven’t been good enough to do it week in, week out.”

Ruscoe has been able to chart his side’s development and form on a personal level, using recent performances against Newtown – where Saints have often struggled – to show the form his champions-elect are in.

And the Saints boss – again – put it down to the spirit among his players.

He added: “I think that when you’re in such a rich vein of form, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing. We’ve played Newtown in the past and we haven’t been firing on all cylinders, or we’ve made a few changes.

“But if you look at Saturday, we made one change, bringing in Aeron Edwards, who rested at Bala. I spoke to Tom Holland and he probably felt hard-done-by to come out of the team.

“We’re not changing the team too much; it’s only little ones here and there and that continuity has helped us gain that form and togetherness as well.

“The lads with the shirt know how important it is because they’re seeing the lads who are left out of the squad. I think there’s a real hunger within them to go out and seal this eighth title in a row.

“We’ve talked about it so much about teams that want to come and take our crown and the players have stepped up to that challenge.”

In-form striker Greg Draper, who notched a hat-trick on Saturday, was once again warmly praised by his boss, who believes the prolific striker has reacted well to being dropped.

He said: “The word with Greg is the attitude and that side of his game. He has a real hunger to play – he’s 29 and he realises that he’s at a stage of his career where he has to fight for a contract.

“There’s 13 others who do, too. If you look at it, they’re all fighting for their jobs and futures and just because we’ve won the league for the last seven years, it didn’t mean we were entitled to win it this year because we are TNS.

“Everyone is fighting for that place and that title, and Greg has had the right attitude in training and in games when he came on and scored.

“He was also a great sub; he had 20-25 minutes to score goals and it must have stressed defenders out because they would see him come on the pitch and think, ‘Oh, I have another 20 minutes to go here’.

“It wasn’t fair on other defenders to be honest but sometimes we had to be more consistent, including Greg, and he had to admit to himself that he probably didn’t do enough off the ball.

“But he’s getting that into his game and for the last few, he’s been excellent. As for the other side of it,We all know he will score goals but he knows that two other strikers were brought into the club to challenge him.”