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Dundalk rule out changes for Cup return

DUNDALK boss Ian Foster says he will not indulge in a spot of squad rotation for tonight's Setanta Sports Cup semi-final clash with Cliftonville -- because he doesn't have enough senior players to act like Mr Tinkerman.

The Lilywhites are just 90 minutes away from the club's first appearance in a major final for almost a decade, and they appear to have one foot in that final as they hold a 3-1 lead from the away leg in Belfast.

Five Dundalk players (Ross Gaynor, Keith Ward, Daniel Kearns, Simon Madden and Peter Cherrie) are already on a yellow card in the competition so a further booking at Oriel Park tonight would rule them out of an appearance in the final, against either Shamrock Rovers or Sligo Rovers.

Already without four key players for tonight's game due to injury, Foster says he cannot afford to rest someone like Kearns for the Cliftonville clash.

"We're just not in a position to rotate because of the amount of bodies we're missing," Foster said. "There are seven players going into the game on a yellow. In fairness, Greg Bolger and Shane Guthrie are two of those and neither one of those boys will be involved tonight.

"We still have five players going into the game on yellows.

"We don't have that privilege at the moment at the football club. I think my players will give me an honest performance. If they get booked and they potentially miss a cup final, the fact that they've got us there will be the pleasing thing," added Foster.



McGeady and Spartak sinking

AIDEN McGEADY's season has taken another turn for the worst as the club have dropped to second-last place in the Russian league table.

McGeady and his team-mates are under fire from angry Spartak supporters after a dismal few weeks for the club.

Last week Spartak limped out of the Europa League with a 5-2 defeat -- 10-3 on aggregate -- to FC Porto, and last night they lost 2-1 away to Anzhi Makhachkala in a league game.

That was their third defeat from five league games, and only Tom Tomsk are below Spartak in the table, though McGeady did keep his place in the starting XI for last night's game and played the 90 minutes.

The club have already dismissed suggestions that coach Valeri Karpin was on the verge of being sacked, but supporters are clearly unhappy with the league form and that very tame European exit.

-- AIDAN FITZMAURICE


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