CONNAH’S QUAY NOMADS have to be at the very top of their game if they are to compete with “streets ahead” The New Saints, according to boss Andy Morrison.

Nomads put down a marker on the opening weekend of the season as they thrashed Llanelli 7-0 in South Wales, but Morrison is wise enough to know that there is still work to be done in order to close the gap on Saints.

Scott Ruscoe’s reigning champions also showed that they mean business by dispatching Barry Town United at Park Hall and Morrison expects the Saints to lead the way once more this term.

“It’s nothing that I don’t expect from them,” said Morrison ahead of Sunday’s encounter. “They are still way ahead of the rest of us.

“We are all playing catch up and trying to close the gap, as we closed it last year from the year before.

“We are trying to get closer to them, but I am under no illusions, they are streets ahead of us in infrastructure and everything else - budget, how long they’ve been at the top and their resources.”

Saints, who were in Europa League action against Midtjylland last night, have shuffled their pack so far this season, but Morrison knows what to expect regardless of what starting XI his side come up against.

He continued: “I know the depth of their squad. They made three changes (against Barry) and whoever we come up against they are going to give us a game.

“We’ve got to be right at the top of our game, we can’t afford to switch off for two or three minutes and we can’t, in the transition, have lads walking back, they energy has got to be huge for 90 minutes.”

Morrison will have been encouraged by Barry Town United’s goal against Saints, which came from a corner kick and followed on from conceding twice from set-plays in the first leg of their European clash with Midtjylland.

But Saints boss Ruscoe said: “People keep looking and saying that we are vulnerable from set-plays. We’ll try and make sure we don’t let that happen again.

“We’re certainly not an easy touch. We work at these things and we will make sure we are better.”

Saints, meanwhile, have home advantage against Queen’s Park, while Nomads head to Falkirk in Scottish Challenge Cup round two to be played over September 8/9.

Bala Town midfielder, Henry Jones, who made headlines for his Rabona cross for Steven Tames in the 2-1 victory over Carmarthen last week, insists the Lakesiders are targeting the title.

Ahead of Sunday’s trip to Barry, Jones told the Welsh Premier League website: “If we aren’t aiming to win the league then what is the point? It is too unambitious to turn around and say we’re aiming for second or we’re aiming for third or whichever position – if you’re not aiming to win the competition then you might as well go home, surely?

“We’ve got a very good squad, we’ve got really talented players and if we’re able to find a consistency over the season that sees us matching our potential week in, week out, then I don’t see why we can’t challenge for top spot, to be honest with you, and take the race for the title all the way.

“TNS are a very good side, I saw Connah’s Quay at Llanelli over the weekend and they were very impressive so they won’t be far away, and I don’t think we will be.

“It is very early in the season, but we believe we can do well and I’ll be doing everything I can to create and score as many goals as possible to help Bala get as many wins as we can throughout the year.”