HUW GRIFFITHS is approaching Cefn Druids’ home clash with table topping The New Saints realistically, rather than optimistically.
The Ancients have proved more than a few people wrong this season, the Wrexham-based outfit storming into fifth place with around a third of the regular campaign remaining.
Druids have beaten the likes of Bangor City and Bala Town, and have taken a point off Cardiff Met at Cyncoed Campus – a feat only matched by Scott Ruscoe’s Saints.
Asked whether Druids were able to follow up completing the double over Barry Town United on Saturday by picking up a positive result tonight at home to Saints, who won the reverse fixture 4-0 in September, Griffiths certainly wasn’t getting carried away.
“We’ve talked about managing goal difference,” replied Griffiths. “The league is so tight this year that small margins, such as goal difference could decide whether you just survive or achieve something better.”
Griffiths, who saw Druids beat Barry 2-1 on Saturday courtesy of goals from Naim Arsan and Jonny Taylor, was not giving up on giving Saints a game altogether, however.
“We will come up with a game plan to win the match,” continued Griffiths. “If we can’t win the game then we will look to draw it.
“And then if we can’t draw the game we will look to keep the impact on our goal difference down.
“Goal difference could play a big part in the season, it really is as tight as that.”
Druids have suffered a blow with key man Alec Mudimu expected to miss tonight’s home clash with a groin injury picked up against Barry.
Ilan ap Gareth replaced Mudimu on Saturday and the teenager could be handed a starting role after impressing Griffiths.
“Ilan did really well,” said Griffiths. “He played as a holding midfielder, rather than his usual role as an attacking midfielder and did what we wanted him to do.”
Saturday’s hero Taylor and fellow striker James Davies could also come into the Druids’ XI, although Stuart Cook is unlikely to be involved.
In the opposition camp, Saints boss Ruscoe is expecting a difficult encounter against Griffiths’ in-form Ancients at The Rock.
“Huw is an excellent coach, who gets his players organised and he gets the best out of them,” said Ruscoe, for whom Greg Draper is hitting top form in front of goal.
“It’s not one of the bigger budgets in the league, I would imagine, but he makes good signings.
“He’s a good coach and I like what he does.”
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