Six games, 18 points and a 100 per cent record.

That’s the simple target being set for The New Saints between now and the end of the first Welsh Premier League phase on January 12 by boss Scott Ruscoe.

TNS are third in the league behind Connah’s Quay Nomads and Barry Town United and face a tough trip to fourth-placed Bala Town on Friday night.

But Ruscoe – whose side booked their spot in the Welsh Cup fourth round on Saturday – is challenging his players to do themselves justice.

“This is a really important run of games now; we have Newtown, we have Cefn Druids twice, Llandudno and Bala on Friday,” he said.

“I’ve told the lads that it’s six games before the split and the target has been set for them to take all those points.

“They have to do their bit now. We haven’t been on a great run in November and they know it’s vitally important that we get back to where we need to be so we have to have a 100 per cent record.

“We should be looking at that but it’s fair to say we haven’t done as well as against the supposed weaker teams.

“I know we’re in a false position and if we’ve got our 19 players available for selection, I know that we should be getting maximum points from the next six games.”

Ruscoe believes Bala have the potential to cause TNS harm on Friday night – depending on what Lakesiders’ side shows up.

He added: “Bala are a very up and down side who can go on a run of five with a win and then not win for five too.

“They don’t always have momentum but have some very good individual players. They recruited well in the summer and have become a little bit more robust and have Steven Tames up top, who is joint-leading scorer with Greg Draper.

“They have quality in the squad added to the boys who have been around for a few years as well to help with their stability.

“You think they probably should be doing better than what they are. Last year we won four from four but this year, we’ve played them once and drawn and they were a lot better than last year.

“They have improved but like I said to my boys, let’s make this the start of our run.”

All three top three sides are in action on Friday night, as leaders Nomads make the short trip to Cefn Druids while second-placed Barry travel to Carmarthen Town.

Saints will return to the top if they better either side’s result as they have a superior goal difference.

The clash at Maes Tegid kicks off at 7.45pm on Friday.