TNS boss Scott Ruscoe has praised his side for their efforts so far this season in what he believes has been one of the club’s toughest so far.

The defending champions have lost three of their opening 13 league games this season and sit fourth in the table ahead of the visit of Aberystwyth Town tonight (Friday).

Last time the sides met the Seasiders were humiliated 10-0 on their own ground,

“There’s no way Aber will come here and let something happen like it did last time,” said Ruscoe. “They’re coming here on the back of a 5-0 defeat, so they will want to tighten up and make sure they can contain us.”

Ruscoe remained upbeat despite admitting the season had not gone to plan.

“It has probably been our most difficult time in recent years. It disrupts the squad with too many players out and does affect your game and training.”

Ruscoe warned the rest of the league the Saints were now close to full strength ahead of a busy festive period.

“We’re back to where we need to be, and although it’s been a stop-start season, we know that if we win our game in hand, we’re just one point behind the leaders.

“It’s a bit disappointing not to be top but we can’t dwell on what’s already happened and need to focus on what’s going to happen.”

The Welsh champions sit four points behind leaders Connahs Quay Nomads with a game in hand.

“We’ve lost a few games and we’re out of a couple of cup competitions, but we’re only in November so there’s still four or five months of the season left to play,” added Ruscoe.