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Maloney wants to stay involved
Published : 18 Apr 2011 18:21:17Rss feed
Being out for four months has given Shaun Maloney an appetite for games Shaun Maloney managed to get on the score-sheet on Sunday after coming off the bench to tap-in the final goal against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup Semi-final at Hampden. It is doubtful if he has scored an easier goal of his career but few have been more enjoyable. Fit-again and continuing his comeback from ankle surgery, Maloney is delighted to be playing a part as Celtic's bid for the SPL title and Scottish Cup double reaches a climax. Maloney has now come off the bench in three games following a lay-off of more than four months and he admitted he had feared his season was over just last month. Celtic have seven games left in the SPL, starting with a trip to Kilmarnock on Wednesday, before ending the season back at Hampden against Motherwell on 21 May. Maloney said: "It was a pretty easy finish in the end but it was just very enjoyable, firstly to be on the pitch, and then anything I can do to help with the result is a massive bonus. Probably about a month ago or so I was unsure but the last three or four weeks of the rehab went extremely well. It's just that carrot of getting back to the last six or seven games of the season that drove me on. Every game, there is so much riding on it. We would much rather be in a position like this than unfortunately we were at this time last season." Joe Ledley is expected to be out of the trip to Rugby Park after his hamstring tightened up at Hampden. This could open up a place in right midfield if captain Scott Brown is moved into the centre. And Maloney is optimistic he can push for a starting spot. He said: "I hope so, the manager's opinion counts more than mine but with each week that passes in training I'm feeling a bit better. So if called upon I think I will be fine. You need to perform on the pitch, if you keep performing well you almost try to make it impossible for the manager to leave you out. I can see that at the moment with other players in the squad, it's like that. But what the manager has said, with the amount of games coming up and what there have been, as you have seen, the squad will be used. I think we have got a pretty good squad at the moment."