The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe believes the experience of the older players in his side will be vital ahead of the league split which is just two games away.

His side travels to Newtown on Friday before their final phase – one game takes place the following Saturday at home against Connah’s Quay Nomads.

A win from both of these games would see Saints heading into phase two of the season at the top of the table.

With the table splitting into two halves, Saints will be facing a top-six side every week until the end of the season.

Bearing that in mind, Ruscoe wants his more experienced players who have won titles in the past, to use their knowledge to help the younger players in the squad towards the title.

He said: “Experience at this stage is very important for us. We’ve had players with us previously who know how to win big games and how to push on and win titles.

“So these will be important for us. It will be imperative that they pass on information to the younger players who haven’t been with us too long and haven’t had the experience of winning championships and cup medals.

“I think it’s vital that they send out the right message, along with the staff, to send out the right message to these younger players and prepare them for the run-in.”

Saints are well-positioned heading into the final two games of phase one, with a one-point lead at the top of the table.

Their goal-scoring record is the best in the league, despite conceding more goals than they have done in previous years.

Their efficiency in front of goal is something Ruscoe wants to see consistently throughout the second half of the season.

He continued: “In the 10 remaining games after the split, you are playing against teams of better quality each week, so it’s a massive part of the season.

“I do like the format – it shows that when you do get to January, there is still a lot to play for.

“I think last year it was no different; I can’t remember if we were still top or if we were a little bit behind at this stage of the season last year, so we know there are a lot of tough games to come and we’ll need to be at our best.

“We know teams are going to drop points against each other each week too which makes it more interesting.

“We want to make sure we work hard and nail down our tactics now so we can get to it and prove how good we are.”

After their final two phase one games, Saints face Aberystwyth in the Welsh Cup fourth round – a competition the TNS boss is keen on his side winning along with the league title.

“Our ultimate aim is to win the double,” he said.

“It’s like last season – we won the league by 12 points and won the Welsh Cup with a dominant performance on the last day of the season which was great.

“It’s what players want to play for – whatever level you play at.”as a player, you want to win trophies and championships, so obviously we still have two to play for and that’s exactly what we’ll be looking at doing.