TNS boss Scott Ruscoe has challenged his players to “dominate from minute one” when domestic action returns to Park Hall on Sunday.

TNS host Caernarfon Town on Sunday with the Oswestry club bidding for a ninth straight title this season.

“It’s vital we get off to a good start because we’re expected to win,” said Ruscoe.

“We’re favourites going into the league but we need to take our European performances into the league and make sure there’s no hangover from it and make sure we have a better start than last season.

“We’re targeting dominating the league from minute one. We don’t set unrealistic targets and objectives for the players for the season, in terms of wins, losses and draws.

“It will be similar this year as it was last year but we set the targets to better them each year.”

With TNS’ dominance of Welsh football so complete, the Saints will once again set internal targets in a bid to maintain standards.

Ruscoe said: “Can we score more? Can we have fewer losses? They’re the things we highlight straight away as we had four losses last season, and they will all be explained and discussed with the players before we start on Sunday.

“They will have realistic targets as individuals and as a group.”

Ruscoe admits his side face an improved league, with rivals Connah’s Quay Nomads, featuring former TNS boss Craig Harrison, desperate to knock TNS off their perch as champions.

However Ruscoe also expects challenges from elsewhere.

“Obviously Connah’s Quay will be about but I think Barry Town United will test us this year. They’ll be there again as they’ve strengthened with three or four new players,” said Ruscoe.

“Cardiff Met had a disappointing season last year but I see them being stronger this year and I think the league will be better overall, with a side like Penybont who play football and will be better than Llanelli.

“Plus Airbus will be a good inclusion too. I just think the league is in a much better place and is improving.”