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CH: "This must be the start"

Gaffer insists Robins must not rest after positive Xmas

The Robins must not rest on their positive Christmas period and go again on Friday at Bangor City, according to boss Chris Hughes.

Newtown go into their first game of 2018 in high spirits, after a narrow defeat followed by a spirited comeback against the champions TNS on Saturday.

Hughes has been praising his players for their spectacular win, and says their form has been improving since November.

But he warned his players that the TNS win is not the end, but the start.

He said: "I think we feel our performances and form have been improving since November, since we went about seven games without a result.

"A lot of people will be surprised by Saturday, but we deserved and we felt we were unlucky on Boxing Day not to take anything.

"We've taken three points from two tough games, and we want to go and do that again on Friday.

"It was a fantastic win, but we can't let that just be the high point of our season, we can't let it be the end it must be the start.

"We won't allow the players to think we've won at TNS and it is job done, we will go again with some more tough games coming up."

Hughes also believes his summer signings have now gelled into the Newtown way, and that was shown in last week's 4-2 victory at the champions.

He believes his side now look a threat going forward, and they can now build on their positive performances.

He added: "I've been saying that it is going to take time to bed in, we had new lads from outside the league and lads from other Welsh clubs who needed to adapt to our way of playing.

"People are seeing that now.

"I've been asked about January signings, but I want to get more out of the group I have got here, there can be improvements and we want to get that out of them.

"We are now looking potent and a threat going forward, and we're scoring goals, and at the back apart from the odd game out goals against has been good too."

The upturn in goals scored has coincided with Hughes sticking with three strikers from the start in the form of Jamie Reed, Luke Boundford and Nick Rushton.

All three found the net in the TNS double headers.

Newtown_v_TNS_cele_2

All three strikers were among the Christmas goals 

Despite all the positives surrounding the win, Hughes said there are still improvements to be made.

He added: "I've always said we've got good players and got goals in the side.

"What has been frustrating as that when one hasn't been scoring, they all haven't been scoring so it has been difficult.

"But something has changed, and we have been scoring more, but not everything was perfect last week.

"There are still improvements to work on and address."

Friday will see a similar test to TNS, as the Robins take on Bangor City, who are on the coat tails of the league leaders.

Hughes is under no illusions of the task in hand, but has called for his players to produce the goods again.

He added: "Bangor will be another similar test to TNS, they are a strong outfit, have really, really good players at their disposal.

"We want to go there and be tough to beat again, we know how tough it will be though."

Jamie Price is still missing from the squad with an ankle injury, however Alex Fletcher will be available for selection after his transfer from Stafford Rangers was ratified.