FORMER The New Saints boss Scott Ruscoe has admitted he is 'sad and disappointed' after ending a near two-decade association with the club on Sunday.

The Park Hall club announced that they had parted company with the ex-Chester City man and his assistant Steve Evans following the resumption of the Cymru Premier League on Saturday.

TNS were held to a goalless draw by Bala Town, moving them one point clear at the top albeit having played one more game than rivals Connah's Quay Nomads.

Ruscoe admitted he was shocked by the timing of his departure, believing TNS were well set to reclaim a title he felt would have been theirs in 2019/20, had the season not been curtailed.

"I’d been at the club for 19 years in February – it’s disappointing and sad but you move on," said Ruscoe, who won two leagues in his time as boss at Park Hall.

"You thank the chairman for the chance to do that. I want to thank Ian Williams as well as he’s been great throughout, and the managers that have managed me as a player.

"And thanks to the players, who win and lose games for you and they’re the most important part. Hopefully I’ve brought some good players to the club that can go on to make TNS a force.

"I know we came second last year but it was a time that we all know we struggled with injuries, a bit of lack of form which everybody does.

"But we had six games to go and if we’d played these six games then we’d have been in with a fair shout to win the league.

"It was disappointing but this season, we started really well – we had seven clean sheets in a row at the start, we’ve only been beaten once and drawn three times.

"In Europe, we had one good win but only just got beat on penalties and we were headed for positive season.

"So yes, I’m a little bit surprised with the timing of it."

Ruscoe insisted he is ready to return to the game immediately following his dismissal, and says his European adventures remain the highlight of his time in charge.

He added: "I will now take stock over what I do, which direction I’ll be going in and speak to my agent and see if I can get my CV out there straight way.

"That could be in the English game, or Scottish, Irish – anywhere that will find me a role as a manager, assistant or coach.

"I’ve always said that I’m not pigeon-holed as a manager but I see myself as a good coach and someone who knows players.

"If you have those attributes then that’s what football clubs are looking for.

"Hopefully it will be something that’s attractive; it might be a long wait or something that comes straight way.

"The highlight was winning the first title as manager, and in that season we got the double with the League Cup.

"Winning our first Champions League game as managers as well was brilliant, against FC Europa, which was really good.

"This season too, as we came back focused, we beat Zilina too and then another European night was winning 1-0 away in Kosovo, which a lot of people wouldn’t have bet on us to do.

"It shows how close the squad was and it was a fantastic night."

Former skipper Christian Seargeant will take temporary control at Park Hall.