IT’S a new chapter for the Welsh national team with our new leader, Ryan Giggs. It wasn’t a big shock for me when he was appointed because of his marketing presence.

He’s now in a very privileged position and he must now make use of his experience as a winner on the pitch and transfer it to the players as a manager.

His backroom staff appointments over the coming weeks will be crucial and it’s essential that Osian Roberts keeps his key role.

All the talking for Ryan will be driven by results. All the bickering about his past commitment to the cause needs to stop. I was lucky enough to have played alongside him for Wales and he always wore that red shirt with pride.

I don’t think supporters will be as patient with Ryan as they have been with other managers if he does have a bad start, but he will already be aware of that. He has to start on the front foot in the China Cup next month.

Gearing up for the Nations League in September will also be at the back of his mind.

The Nations League draw has thrown us against the Republic of Ireland again, and Denmark, two teams who we can beat.

I’m not going to confuse anyone any further by trying to explain how it will work.

Just win those games and everything else will sort itself out.

Yes, he now has everyone’s respect and it’s an exciting time for the team, but I would like Ryan to stamp his personality on the team.

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At the start of the season, if you’d have offered everyone involved with Wrexham – staff, players, supporters – the chance to be two points off the top going into the last third of the season, I’m sure they would’ve been happy.

Dean Keates has brought in five new players in January and two of them will have a major say on whether Wrexham will get promoted, 10 years after dropping out of the Football League; Scott Quigley for his goals and Nicky Deverdics for his creativity.

I watched them at Guiseley recently and they had that look of determination and ruthlessness about them, attributes you need at this stage of the season.

If they fulfil their ambitions, they will have to thank their goalkeeper and defence for the 18 clean sheets they have already earned. With a little more ambition going forward, I think they can make it.

Momentum is key when preparing for huge games against the teams around you, and they have two big games coming up this month, Sutton United away this weekend, and Aldershot at home the weekend after. It’s so important to win these key matches.

If Dean Keates can keep the players fit and fired up, and not take anything for granted, we could be celebrating automatic promotion in a few months. Otherwise, they can definitely look forward to a fight in the play-offs.

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Could The New Saints go one step further in the Scottish Irn Bru Cup than they did last season?

There are two teams outside of Scotland - TNS and Crusaders, of Northern Ireland - trying to create history by getting into the final for the first time. I dread to imagine the red faces of embarrassment for the sponsors if no team from Scotland reaches the final.

Scott Ruscoe’s team host Dumbarton, who are struggling at the bottom end of the Scottish Championship.

They already have one cup in the bank this season, they’re on top of the Welsh Premier League and on their way to another title, so they can concentrate solely on this match. 

What a first season this could turn out to be in Ruscoe’s first ever managerial post.

He created a big impression on me when I interviewed him before the League Cup final recently. He seemed to be comfortable with the pressure before the game and the coolness and calmness of his answers and his demeanour impressed me. He has a quiet determination and a taste for winning, which are important attributes for a young manager.

Have they improved from last season? No, but it’s clear they are buying into the manager’s ideas.

Home advantage will be crucial and I’m tipping them to win by at least two goals.

It would be a great reflection on the WPL if TNS can get into the final and possibly add a new trophy to their cabinet.

Malcolm Allen is part of the Sgorio commentary team. S4C’s Sgorio will show live coverage of The New Saints’ Irn Bru Cup semi-final against Dumbarton from 7.15pm on Saturday. 

S4C will also have coverage of Wales’ matches in next months China Cup, with highlights of Wales v China on Thursday, March 22 and live coverage of Wales’ second match on Monday, March 26.