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Croly wary of a Lazarus in Linfield

SHAMROCK Rovers boss Trevor Croly expects to see a much-improved performance from Linfield in Belfast tonight as the struggling Blues try to regain some battered pride.

With a 4-1 lead from the first leg, Rovers are practically assured of a place in the last four of the competition as they take on a Linfield side who are struggling for form and suffering with a injuries.

They disappointingly drew with Lisburn Distillery on Saturday and have managed just one win their last four games, while boss David Jeffrey cannot select a full-strength side ahead of the daunting clash with Rovers.

But Croly expects the Blues players to put up a fight as the Dublin side come to town.

"Linfield are a good team. They won't have liked being beaten by us last week or only drawing at the weekend, so there will be a reaction from their players, there always is," said Croly, who will be without Pat Sullivan, Conor Powell and Mark Quigley tonight.

"We are going to try and win the game. We want to win it and will be set up to do so.

"We have trained and prepared to win the game so that is all that is in our minds."

Blues boss Jeffrey, missing five senior players for the game, admits it's a big ask for his side. "I would desperately like to think that the players will go out on Monday night and give it their very best shot" said Jeffrey.

"We have a mountain to climb but the players have got to go out and give a performance.

"We are coming off the back of a performance down there (Dublin) where for 20 minutes in the second half we were excellent.

"We scored one goal but could have got more and I honestly thought that we could have gone on and got a draw.

"There was some suicidal defending but Shamrock Rovers are undoubtedly a very good side," added Jeffrey.

The Blues will take on Rovers without the likes of Philip Lowry, Matthew Tipton, Gary Browne, Johnny Black and former Bohemians man Alan Blayney.