Scott Ruscoe insists he was pleased with the performance of his The New Saints players on Saturday, despite the side suffering a second defeat in as many games.

Saints fell four points behind the top spot after a 1-0 home defeat to league leaders Barry Town United.

Barry remain unbeaten after a long-range first-half effort from Evan Press proved the difference in the game.

Ruscoe praised the Saints’ opponents, but felt as though his side’s performance was good enough to warrant a draw.

“It’s not as if we haven’t played well and have lost the game, I feel as though we did ok actually, and I told the players that at half-time and at the end of the game,” he said.

“Overall, I think we deserved at least a draw from the game, and performance-wise, we looked a little bit better than we have done in the past few weeks.

“They defended very well, as soon as they got the goal they sat back, which we knew they would do.

“They had a couple of chances, one which they scored, and one which was saved by Paul [Harrison].

“Other than that, it was one of them games for us where we’ve managed to test the keeper, but he’s pulled off a few very good saves.”

TNS suffered their second league defeat of the season, following their 3-1 defeat away at Bala Town on matchday two.

They are the only team in the top four who have lost a game at this point, with Barry, Connah’s Quay Nomads and Cardiff Metropolitan University all undefeated at this stage.

Ruscoe insists he is not worried though, and has urged his players to bounce back from their latest defeat.

He said: “You’re not going to win every single game in the season, and at the end of the season it will all work itself out.

“The best team will win the league. If you have a little spell where things go against you, it’s all about how you bounce back from it and react.

“We’re all aware that we don’t like losing, nobody at the club likes that, so we want to get back on track and kick on with our season again.”

It is a second consecutive defeat for Saints, after Ruscoe’s men were knocked out of the Welsh League Cup by Bangor City in their previous fixture.

But the Saints boss made clear that there are no excuses to be made for his side’s two defeats, even though a number of players were injured at points earlier this season.

He added: “I think at one time we had nine players injured, so that has an effect on team selection and training because you can’t train with the numbers you’d like to.

“That means it can be tougher to prepare for games. We’ve still got more than enough in our changing room, whether we have three players injured or five.

“We should still be dominating and beating teams because our squad is better, so I always say, as a manager, you should never whinge about injuries. You’ve got to get on with it.”

Ruscoe is hoping his side can take a positive result from their next fixture on Friday night, away at Caernarfon Town (kick-off 7.45pm).