The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe says he and his staff have been focusing on their preparations for Europe – whether it is in the UEFA Champions League or the Europa League.

The Saints boss and his players were watching on this week when it seemed the club’s battle to overturn the Football Association of Wales’s bid to award Connah’s Quay Nomads the title ended in the High Court.

But with owner Mike Harris still deciding on whether to appeal the decision, Ruscoe says his thoughts are preparing for the new term.

“We were always preparing for Europe,” said the Saints boss.

“We made the decision at the start of last week, in smaller groups, and the lads have had their individual plans. It was a matter of everything coming together.

“We knew how fit they were and what condition they were in to start training.”

Ruscoe is confident of success in Europe

He said: “Our record in the Europa League in recent years is quite good, and you can draw teams that aren’t as good as those in the Champions League, so there is more of a chance to get a favourable draw.

“Going further in the Europa League is one of our main ambitions – while it’s nice to play in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League, our stronger route is in the Europa.

“The players and I have had a meeting on Tuesday about what’s been happening.

“We’ve been told that this is where we’re going to be, the date that we think we’re going to be playing.

“It’s in six weeks time so we’ve got six weeks of training to make sure we’re in tip-top condition.

“The players are aware of it all but they’re hungry to put it right.

“They know we didn’t have the best season last year albeit the season wasn’t finished properly.

“But we can’t do anything about that now; the record books will show that we finished second and we have to suck it up and go again.

“We have to be in a place where we’re going to be dominant for the next seven to eight years.”

Ruscoe, whose side have been in training for more than a week, admits the later dates for this 2020/21 season have led to changes with his usual planning.

“Having a longer pre-season isn’t going to change our approach – it’s just about being cautious with the players,” he added.

“We’re having to taper sessions, and their recovery; what days they are training and what days they are having off too.

“We need to make sure they are reaching peak condition. We’ve had some strong friendlies recently, with a couple of games against Rangers in Scotland.

“But this year we can’t as they would be at the start of their season so we have to find other teams to play.

“We have to do our research on the teams we play, but it means we can refresh what we do with our new players and getting them used to what we do.

“I’ve been pleased with the first six sessions and it’s about 11-a-side games now.”