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Madden scoffs at comparison to Barca's Alves

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Kieran Marty Water (top) of Shamrock Rovers. Photo: David Maher /Sportsfile

Kieran Marty Water (top) of Shamrock Rovers. Photo: David Maher /Sportsfile

Kieran Marty Water (top) of Shamrock Rovers. Photo: David Maher /Sportsfile

SHAMROCK ROVERS defender Simon Madden laughs at the idea of being compared – by his own club manager – to Barcelona's rampaging full back and two-time Champions League winner Dani Alves.

But the Dubliner insists he is deadly serious about his ambitions with the Hoops this season. Rovers hope to take a step closer towards the first trophy of the year when they take on Dundalk in the first leg of their Setanta Sports Cup semi-final battle at Tallaght Stadium tonight.

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Rovers are just off top spot in the league thanks to Friday's 3-1 win away to Bohemians, a game where right-back Madden was a key figure as he set up the second and third goals, for teammates Ronan Finn and Kieran Marty Watters. His runs down the wing were the cause of manager Trevor Croly comparing Madden to Alves' approach.

"I always laugh when you get compared to someone like that, it's a different league, a different world I live in in comparison to someone like Alves," Madden said.

"That is the way I play, the way I like to play. I do my defensive work, but, if I can help out by setting up a goal or two, then even better. I don't score too many, but I do enjoy setting them up for others and the boys did well to finish off from the crosses I sent in against Bohs.

"It was a great win for us, it's just another three points for us, but I know the Rovers fans will have enjoyed their weekend after we beat Bohs away from home, it means a lot to them," he added.

With one eye on Friday's league game at home to Sligo Rovers, Croly is likely to rest players for the Setanta game tonight, but Madden does not want to be rested and is keen to play against his former side.

"I am desperate to play if the manager picks me, I don't want to be up there in the stands when we have a semi-final of a cup competition," added Madden.

"I would love to do well in the Setanta this season, I played in two finals and lost them, so I want to go all the way and get a medal. And there is an added interest for me as I was at Dundalk before, I had a year and a half there and I would love to play against them."

With interest in the competition dwindling from year to year, it's possible that the winners of the 2014 Setanta Cup could get to hold on to the trophy in perpetuity as it may not be back next season.

Standard

"It would be a pity if it died off as it's a great competition. The teams from the North haven't done that well in the last while, but there is still a high standard and you have four very good teams in the semi-finals," said Madden.

Confidence is high in the Dundalk camp after Saturday's win away to Sligo Rovers, but the timing does not help the Co Louth club with another game just 48 hours later.

"It's a quick turnaround and we don't have much time, but we're all looking forward to Shamrock Rovers. It's going to be a tough ask against Rovers. They're a really good side and we know it'll be difficult,"said Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny.

"This is a semi-final and it's a big incentive for us. Dundalk have only been in one final in 12 years and we want to put that right."

SHAMROCK ROVERS v DUNDALK

LIVE SETANTA IRE (KO 8.0)


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