FAR from being downhearted after Tuesday night's home defeat at the hands of Flintshire rivals gap Connah's Quay, Airbus director of football Andy Preece was decidedly upbeat.

The defeat saw the Wingmakers' hopes of pipping The New Saints for the title all but vanish, but Preece said: "We are not disappointed at all. I think TNS have got to be disappointed that the league's not wrapped up by now.

"There's no disappointment, we are full of smiles, the lads are buzzing, and we're just getting ready to go for another trip in Europe."

The home bench felt they were denied a second goal from Ryan Wade by a linesman's offside flag in controversial circumstances.

"Again it was a good performance, how we've not won I don't know. Well I do know why we've dropped a lot of our points this season but I dare not say anything because I'll just get myself into trouble," Preece went on.

"Like I say, any points we've dropped we know what the reason is, nothing to do with our lads and the way we've gone about it.

"You can only affect what you can affect and there are things outside that we can't affect that have cost us time and time again.

"We've dealt with it, it's amazing the discipline that the players and management have got with all the things that we put up with but we've been brilliant this season, we've been absolutely fantastic.

To be in the position that we are you couldn't dream about it and we enjoy the challenge, bring it on.

"To be in the position that we are you couldn't dream about it and we enjoy the challenge, bring it on.

"People try and make it as difficult as they can for us but we're still in that second position, we've won our league again two seasons in a row, it's just a fantastic achievement."

Next-up is a home game with Bangor City and, with any title hopes realistically over, Preece is now looking forward to the last few games without any pressure.

"We're just enjoying the season now, that's the thing, we can just go out and enjoy our football and that's what we're going to do.

"We've earned the right to do that and we'll go and play with that freedom now, the lads have been fantastic and we can look forward to going into Europe."

Photo: Airbus celebrate opening the scoring.