Newtown and TNS were drawn together in the JD Welsh Cup for the third consecutive year, with both managers admitting they must pass a tough test in order to progress to the fourth round.
A home draw for the Robins means the game will bring back memories of the 2014/15 Welsh Cup final when TNS overcame their hosts 2-0 to lift the trophy in front of a partisan Latham Park crowd, and with TNS currently on the back of a 14 game winning run Newtown manager Chris Hughes believes his team are up against it despite home advantage on Saturday, December 2 (2.30pm).
“It goes without saying that it's a tough draw and it's going to be a tough game,” he said.
“They've won it for the past two or three seasons so there's no doubt that they're the team to beat but as I've said, if you want to do well in the cup then you have to beat the best teams in the competition and we'll obviously be looking to try and beat them.”
The two sides met in the Dafabet Welsh Premier League three weeks ago, the Saints running out 1-0 winners at Park Hall, but Hughes believes Newtown can take confidence from a game in which they successfully frustrated the Welsh Champions up until Robbie Parry’s 83rd minute winner.
“We know how they're going to play, TNS are a good side and they dominate the ball, but we definitely have a way of playing that seems to frustrate them and we'll be trying to make it as difficult for them as we can at home,” he added.
TNS manager Craig Harrison agreed that it was among the toughest draws his side could have expected, but while the league remains the club’s top priority, there’s no chance his players will be taking their foot off the gas at Latham Park.
“We want to win every game we play, in the league, in the cup, even the Friday afternoon five-a-side at training, the players are that competitive, and that's great for me as a manager,” he said.
“It's the only all Welsh Premier tie, it's away from home so it's possibly the toughest tie for anyone in the round. But if you want to go on and win it then you have to beat everyone at some point, and we want to win it.
“Newtown have had a bad start in the league, and without doubt they're in a false position in the table. They've got some fantastic players and Chris is an absolutely fantastic coach so they're very well organised - there's only one or two changes from the team that did so well in Europe last season. So yes, they're in such a false position, I wouldn't rule out them making a run for the top six.
“What they won't be able to do is what they did a couple of weeks ago (during the league game at Park Hall) and sit deep and try to waste time and frustrate us.
“They'll have a home crowd behind them so they'll have to come and have a go, and hopefully that'll work in our favour.”