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ASUS AC86U and a TD-W9970 config - bridge mode?

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Hi, I've just switched broadband providers in the uk over from plusnet to nowtv (sky) and I'm trying to understand how I should set up my modem and router. I understand that I am on VDSL and can choose sky vdsl or sky vdsl(mer). When I choose sky vdsl(mer) and enter the made up credentials such as abcdefgh@nowtv pass 1234567890abcdefgh with VLAN ID: 101 I can connect to my TP link wifi and have internet access.... so far so good. I'd like to use this as modem only and use the asus to route if poss as my previous setup.

I would like to use the Asus ac86u (latest merlin) though to do the routing and I have read various accounts about requiring the mac address spoofing etc. I have also read this is not needed just the pass "abcd1234@nowtv|abcd1234" in option 61?

Should it be in bridge mode on the the tp-link to start - is it SKY vdsl or vdsl(mer)?

@flavione seems to have got some good ideas here: ASUS DSL AC86u set up - NOW Community (nowtv.com)

I suspect Its something very simple as I used to have it working previously - any help appreciated :)

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