No fear for Saints in Livingston visit

Reporter:

Gavin Grosvenor

TNS manager Scott Ruscoe has admitted he is still to make up his mind about his starting XI for Sunday’s Irn-Bru Cup clash with Livingston.

The Saints host the Scottish Championship side at Park Hall on Sunday, having turned around two wins since the disastrous opening day thrashing at Bangor City.

Ruscoe believes it is a chance to keep up momentum after beating Barry Town United on Friday night.

“The Irn Bru Cup is one we did well in last season and it’s one we want to take seriously,” said Ruscoe.

“I went to watch Livingston on Saturday which is well worth doing because I got to see what they do and exactly how they played.

“They’re a physical, direct and experienced side. It’s going to be a tough game but the last time we played them, we got a positive result and performance away last year.

“We’ve got that little bit of knowledge on them and we’ll work on how we’ll set up this week in training.

“I’ve not made my mind up yet about the team. We’re playing a Scottish Championship team and it’s about giving us momentum.

“It’s about giving the players who have played well over the last two months a chance to go again. I’m sure players like Christian Seargeant, Greg Draper and Adrian Cieslewicz are raring to go and want the chance.”

Ruscoe was happy with the single goal victory at Barry, courtesy of Wes Fletcher’s finish, and admitted he was happy with the Saints’ defensive qualities returning to the fore.

And he reserved special words of praise again for new boy Blaine Hudson, who marked his full debut with a clean sheet.

Ruscoe added: “It was a solid win. We had plenty of possession and got the ball wide. We had a lot of chances where we could have scored and we had a few penalty shouts too.

“I think 1-0 flattered them a little but they’re well organised, worked hard and they were in it until the end.

“I’m not disappointed. We’re creating chances and we’re looking solid, apart from the first minute where they had a chance. But there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s going to happen.

“We’ve kept two clean sheets running now. Rijeka was a one off because they were a good team, but the stats will show we conceded five on the opening day of the season.

“We’ve got our solidity back. Blaine has come in because of Steve Saunders’s thigh injury and he’s looking at another five weeks with that.

“He has trained well since day one, and he has a presence around both boxes and has got great pedigree.

“He’s only 25 and he’s very experienced,” added Ruscoe. “He’s young, but he’s had lots of games in the National League and is good to have around the dressing room.”

Email:

gavin.grosvenor@nwn.co.uk

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