BERNARD McNally has insisted back to back derbies with title chasing TNS represents the ideal chance for Newtown to breathe new life into their survival bid.
Despite going down 3-1 at home to Airbus UK Broughton in their worst display of the season, the former Hednesford boss still has faith in his side for the seasonal derby double header.
McNally said: “We just did not turn up against Airbus, which is so disappointing. We sat back too deep and all three of their goals were sloppy from our point of view.
“We must look forward because we are in no position to dwell,” said McNally. “We have saved our best performances for the top sides this season and in TNS we could not have asked for a tougher end of the year.
Meanwhile McNally thanked supporters for their loyalty during the Robins’ testing campaign, which has seen them struggle near the foot of the table as well as being deducted three points for a breach of registration rules.
“I knew this would be a hard job when I accepted the role in the summer and it is important to remember that we are still two points better off than we were at this point last season.
Shane Sutton is backing McNally and insisted the squad are united in maintaining the Robins’ unbroken top flight record
“The spirit in the Newtown squad is excellent and has been our main strength this season,” said the 22-year-old Knighton-based defender. “We were all disappointed with ourselves after the Airbus defeat but we were without three players and that makes a massive difference with such a small squad that we have.”
Midfielder Jamie Price returns to availability but defender Max Penk continues his suspension.
Meanwhile TNS coach Carl Darlington warned his side not to underestimate a Newtown side which have failed to beat the Saints at Latham Park since 2001.
“There is a real edge to the game, it is a derby and both sides want the points for different reasons,” he said. “We drew 2-2 this time last season and we will not be underestimating Newtown.”
Top goalscorer Matty Williams went under the surgeon’s knife this week, while ex-Newtown striker Nicky Ward is also out and defender Jermaine Johnson suspended.