THE New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe is pleading with his side to remain true to their footballing beliefs if they are to gain an Europa League third qualifying round first leg advantage at Ludogorets Razgrad tomorrow.

Saints are in Bulgaria with a chance to reach the play-off round after they were eliminated from the Champions League qualifying rounds by FC Copenhagen.

But with Saints going scoreless in both legs, Ruscoe is aware of his side’s need to score goals and he is backing them to do the job if they stay close to what makes them the champions of Wales.

“I think we need to tell the players to keep doing what they’re doing in order to score the goals we need to score,” said the TNS boss.

“We’re struggling against these teams because we’re up against better players. When you get chances, you do have to take them and if you look at the Copenhagen game, we had three very good ones.

“In a league game, that’s three goals – definitely two – and you have to make sure we score when we get chances against opposition that we’re not used to.

“It will give our players a reality check at saying they’re at this standard now and they’ve got to do the things they do every week and feel comfortable.

“It will build them up because there’s nothing worse going into a game thinking you’re not as good as the opposition and that you’re going to concede goals, and not score them.

“We’ve got to keep doing well, play on the counter and then when we get that chance we’ve got to put our foot through it and at least make the keeper work.”

Saints have been given two of the toughest draws available so far and Ruscoe admits it would be nice for the Welsh Premier League champions to receive a fairer draw on their European adventures.

He also thinks that Saints will not be facing a tougher test than in Scandinavia last week, but still expects the Bulgarians to give Saints a hard time, adding that he was delighted to be facing them away first.

“It would be nice to be given some luck in the draw for once but we’ll stand up to them like we did in the last round,” he said.

“It will be a difficult game but we’ll make sure we’ll make it as tough for them over the two legs.

“We’ve seen footage of them – it’s one of them when they can change their team, they’re four games into their new season and they’re obviously in a strong position.

“I think that I’m happy for this game because it gives us a little chance to see what they’ve got.

“We can then either go for it or step back and say ‘lads, these are a good side’ and we can frustrate them a little before we get a chance on the counter.

“I think we showed Copenhagen too much respect but we need to show Ludogrets a level of respect because they’re another good European side.

“I don’t think they’re as good as Copenhagen but they’re better than the Kosovan side in round one.”

Kick-off is 6.30pm tomorrow with the return leg at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground next week.