Craig Harrison has a simple message for his Welsh League Cup-winning TNS men: Let’s go and win them all.
The Saints landed the Nathaniel MG Trophy for the third year running with a thumping 4-0 win over Barry Town United in Cardiff, courtesy of a Christian Seargeant hat-trick and one from Adrian Cieslewicz, who capped his return from serious injury.
With the Welsh Premier League title all but sown up, a Welsh Cup to defend and a trip to Scotland to face St Mirren in the Irn-Bru Cup, Harrison believes his talented squad can more than cope.
“Now it’s a case of let’s go for all four trophies,” said Harrison.
“We’ve got players coming back who have all trained, while this week was too early for Simon Spender and Wes Fletcher because they’ve had muscle injuries. Robbie Parry had a toe operation and it comes down to his pain threshold.
“This is the fewest number of players I’ve had since I’ve been here, but the ones we’ve got, they can play at any time and you wouldn’t say we were weaker.
“Seargeant and Fletcher have come on and scored goals in the last 30 minutes of games. The way we play, we can wear teams out and then take advantage when they’re tiring out.”
Harrison admitted that while he was delighted with the win, the reaction from his Saints side to losing their world record-breaking run was equally pleasing.
He also justified his decision to make changes at the break while TNS were still goalless with Barry, saying they needed to make some tactical changes.
He added: “You could see it in their faces and you could see it in training this week, where there was a lot more intensity.
“There’s no better way to get back to winning ways than to win a trophy in January. Possession-wise, we controlled the game and I think they had one shot at our goal in the 90 minutes.
“I thought it was going to that type of game to start with – they were never going to come out of the blocks at the start – otherwise they’d have left themselves wide open and get picked off.
“Christian came off the bench, and it shows we’ve got so much strength in depth. I made a change at half-time, which is always hard and can knock players’ confidence.
“I just wanted to give us the best opportunity to try to win the game, and it wasn’t necessarily what the lads had been doing. It just wasn’t happening and I needed to change it tactically.
“Obviously, it paid off as ‘Sarge’ scored three and set up the other one, while Scott Quigley came on and did really well.”
The Saints boss was also happy for players for some first-time winners in his squad.
He continued: “That’s the first trophy for some of the lads. Jon Routledge and Steve Saunders, and the first for Ryan Pryce that he actually played in.
“A few of the lads were talking before the game about that and what a way to get to it.
“We freshened up a bit in the summer to try to lower the average age of the squad – and while the lads don’t need more hunger, they needed that freshening up.”