MIDFIELDER Glenn Rule believes that the rest of the Welsh Premier League clubs view Airbus as the team they want to beat.
Back-to-back Europa League qualification has transformed the Wingmakers into a side challenging at the top end of the table having spent their early years in the top-flight battling to get into the top six.
And, with full-time The New Saints so far ahead of the rest, Rule believes the rest of the teams in the division see Airbus as their greatest threat, while Craig Harrison’s reigning champions also know his former club pose the sternest test throughout the course of the season.
"Teams are now respecting us a lot more and making things a lot more difficult," Rule told the Leader.
"I think they see us as the top team. Sides go to TNS and they are not bothered and they more or less throw in the towel, but they see us as the big game because we are on a level par as we are part-time.
"We are still adapting to teams getting men behind the ball and countering against us, but it will come and if we can find goals then we will be there or thereabouts."
Rule could again be asked to fill in at right-back against Newtown on saturday with Lee Owens set to miss out with a hamstring and James Owen suspended after his dismissal against Bala.
Despite the fact that goals have been harder to come by this term, Airbus are only six points worse off than at this stage last term.
The Wingmakers have scored just 23 times this season, compared with 31 last year, a statistic highlighted by the fact that defender turned midfielder Matty McGinn and playmaker Tom Field lead the way with four apiece despite not starting in recent weeks.
Striker Chris Budrys netted twice in the 2-1 victory over Bala last weekend to take his tally to three for the season and Rule reckons someone is due a hiding.
"It’s due and it will come," declared the former Chester youngster. "I don’t think anybody will be surprised when it comes.
"We’ve been doing all right lately, we just haven’t been able to put the ball in the net.
"Our build up play has been spot on, it is just that cutting edge in the final third that hasn’t been there."