Scott Ruscoe wants his The New Saints side to be the team to watch in the second phase of their JD Cymru Premier campaign.

His side currently holds a four-point lead at the top of the table after winning their last four fixtures in the league.

Ruscoe wants his players to stay focused on their own job as the league splits into the top six and bottom six teams next weekend.

Although the Saints boss admits he will keep a close eye on other matches, he wants his side to be the team other sides worry about facing.

He said: “You always look at results and you keep an eye on who your opposition will be playing and the tough games they have coming up.

“I think Connah’s Quay Nomads take on Barry Town United away in their first game which isn’t easy.

“We’ve got Newtown, and we want to make sure we don’t slip up there and drop any points, but we’ve got to remember our close teams around us are all playing hard teams as well.

“Teams will drop points, and the message to the players will be to make sure it’s not us.

“We need to let other teams do that and make sure other teams are looking at us.”

TNS’ first game in phase two will see them take on Newtown – a side they have played twice in the league already this season, winning on both occasions.

Ruscoe said he thinks the victory his side had over Newtown last time out could help their preparation for the upcoming game.

“We’ve played them twice and beat them twice, and the second game was more comfortable than the first game even though it wasn’t 2-0 until a little later in the game,” he said.

“I think we’ve set up well against them the past few times and we’ve played some good football.

“I don’t think coming up against them a few weeks ago will hinder us, it might actually allow us to know more about what they might try and do.”

With four points between themselves and second-placed Connah’s Quay Nomads, Ruscoe is hoping his side can be consistent enough to extend their advantage at the top of the table.

He said: “There’s a four-point gap, so let’s increase that gap.

“The more that increases, you will start to see teams fall away, that’s the plan anyway.

“The table can change very quickly at this phase – when you have a league in which the top six tend to be doing well against the bottom six, a gap appears dividing the middle.

“But the top six teams playing each other means they can’t all take three points every game, so we want t do everything we can to get a foothold in this league.

“In past seasons we’ve done well at this stage of the season – we haven’t got a game this weekend, so players will have time off to recover and then we’ll focus on the upcoming games.”

TNS will host Newtown at Park Hall Stadium next Friday (February 7) in their first phase two fixture of the season (kick-off 7.45pm).

That will be followed by a game against Bala Town away on Friday, February 14 (kick-off 8pm).