THE New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe was full of praise for his defenders after they helped his side across the line in their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round second leg match away against KF Feronikeli.

Dean Ebbe’s second half strike was enough to claim an away win and secure the Saints’ spot in the next qualifying round of the competition.

After beating the Kosovans at their national stadium, the Saints will now turn their attention to Danish champions FC Copenhagen, the side which awaits them in the next qualifying round.

Ruscoe was pleased with the performance of his young centre backs who helped TNS keep a clean sheet.

He told TNS TV: “I thought we’d score.

“First few minutes we had to weather the storm – they came out strong and to press us.

“We dealt with that and I knew once we’d settled down and got a few passes together we’d be ok.

“[Paul Harrison] wasn’t really tested and the back four were superb.

“The back four had two young players, 22 and 20 – Danny Redmond and Simon Spender we know have a lot of experience.

“They hadn’t all played together before but we put them in together because I know they’re all very good footballers.

“Defensively, they were absolutely superb to a man.”

Saints face Danish opposition for the second year running after taking on former Danish champions FC Midtjylland in the Europa League qualifying round last season.

Ruscoe hopes this experience can help in overcoming the next hurdle ahead of them.

“We played FC Midtjylland, Danish champions last year,” he said.

“You can times [the difficulty of that game] by two or three this year – Copenhagen are harder, stronger, have more budget.

“I know a little bit about Copenhagen so I’ll be asking my friends at Midtjylland if they can help us out to compete and do as well as we can against them.”

Ruscoe also had praise for birthday boy and goalscorer Ebbe who made the difference after coming on as a substitute.

TNS take on FC Copenhagen in the first leg of the next round at home on Tuesday, July 23 (kick off time to be confirmed).