THE New Saints travel to Carmarthen Town on Saturday with manager Scott Ruscoe relishing the prospect.
The game represents the hosts first on a newly installed 3G pitch with Ruscoe confident it will mean his side will be able to take full advantage.
“Carmarthen was always a tough place to go but our game will be their first on their 3G pitch,” said Ruscoe. “That’s going to go against them.
“Their old pitch, which they used to keep long, and their rutted goalmouth’s was everything to put us off but now they have a brand new 3G pitch and we’re the most used to that as we’ve been playing on it for so long.”
Ruscoe warned the Old Gold would still make life hard and expected manager Mark Aizlewood to organise his side.
“They haven’t made a good start, but Aizlewood will want to get one over us as he always does,” said Ruscoe. “He’s not going to let us roll them over. I’m looking forward to it.”
Town ended Saints’ world record winning run last season and have traditionally posed a tricky encounter for TNS but Ruscoe believes the Park Hall men are more stubborn than ever.
“After the Bangor defeat people must have thought ‘let’s have a go at them’ but that was an off-day,” said Ruscoe. “That has been proved by the stubbornness we showed against Livingston. We’re pulling in the right direction and the lads know what we want.
“We’re working on our defensive play more than our attacking play and we want to be fitter to dominate more. Once that’s taken care of, the rest will follow.”
Ruscoe will once again ring the changes for the trip to Richmond Park.
“There are potentially three changes to be made at the weekend. I’ve been pleased by the reaction of some of my senior players,” said Ruscoe.
“They are disappointed in training when we talk about the team who is going to start. But we’ve got 20 plus players and that doesn’t go into 11.”