The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe has admitted Friday night's defeat to Aberystwyth Town has left him feeling blue.

TNS have dropped to third in the Welsh Premier League, two points behind leaders Connah's Quay Nomads, who are ahead of Barry Town United in second on goal difference, after Lee Jenkins's single strike on 53 minutes.

Ruscoe warned his stars about the importance of kicking on after they beat Nomads comfortably two weeks ago, but since then have dropped five points out of a possible six at Newtown and Aberystwyth.

The Saints boss believes his players are having a crisis of confidence if they are unable to break sides down and is looking for improvements.

"I’m a bit down really, with the draw against Newtown and losing to Aber – we should be steamrollering these teams, no matter what way you look at it," said Ruscoe.

"They went man-to-man again, as a lot of these teams do, and I think it’s affecting the lads’ concentration a little bit.

"Our confidence is lacking if things don’t go our way early on and we seem a bit vulnerable on the counter attack.

"We have so much possession and the midfielders and forwards aren’t taking their chances as we get them, and that adds pressure on our defenders from there.

"Their goal came from a corner that was whipped and they had someone over on the back post that we didn’t deal with.

"Again, it’s a set-piece that we haven’t dealt with. In open play, teams are hurting us although Aber did have a goal disallowed.

"But in open play, Aber were looking for scraps to break on us and we just need to be a bit more focused like the professional team we are, in our preparations and in our methods.

"We all need to improve – players, staff, everyone."

Saints will be back on home ground following two games away as they host Caernarfon Town on Friday night (7.45pm).

The newly-promoted side was involved in a seven-goal thriller on Saturday as they lost 4-3 to strugglers Carmarthen Town.

n Meanwhile, Saints have confirmed the departure of highly-rated youngster Ben Clark on a short-term loan to relegation-threatened Llandudno Town this week.

Ruscoe added: "It will be good for Ben, hopefully he will get minutes week in and week out. We will assess it and have a look at him in a first-team environment in a strong league.”