Maloney has point to prove
Shaun Maloney is determined to prove his fitness to whoever is confirmed as the new Celtic manager.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 04/06/10 5:01pm
Shaun Maloney is determined to prove his fitness to whoever is confirmed as the new Celtic manager this summer.
The Old Firm club look set to appoint Neil Lennon as manager on a permanent basis after his spell as interim boss at the end of last season.
However, Celtic chiefs are also thought to want to appoint Finland head coach Stuart Baxter as director of football to work alongside Lennon, although it remains to be seen whether Lennon would be keen on the idea.
The former Leicester and Celtic midfielder looks set to deploy former Hoops team-mates Johan Mjallby and Alan Thompson, who left his post at Newcastle on Friday, as coaches at Parkhead and Maloney, who has been sidelined with an Achilles injury since October, just wants to get back playing again.
"The manager tells you if you are playing or not, tells you how to play and if you don't then you don't play," he said.
"I'd like to think I would not have any trouble whoever the manager is going to be. But I know that whoever gets the job, I am obviously going to have to prove myself to him because I haven't played football for a long while."
Despite managing around the world including Sweden and the South Africa national team, Baxter has no experience of working in Scotland and Maloney has urged the board to take their time picking the right man.
"I know the name (Baxter) and what he has done in different countries in Europe and things like that," he added.
"I know he has been mentioned but I'm not entirely sure what's happening. I've got to be honest, I'm not entirely sure what the director of football entails, I couldn't really answer that.
"Hopefully something gets announced in the next few weeks after the club has done their background work.
"I can only talk for myself, I'm not overly concerned about the wait, it's just part of football."
The 27-year-old impressed in the nine league games he did play this season, scoring four goals, and the former Aston Villa man is desperate to get back on the pitch after eight months out.
"I had an Achilles problem that kept me out for a few months or so and unfortunately within a few days back in training other things broke down," he stated.
"It kept happening each time I tried to get back to training and it was frustrating. I was down in London numerous times during the first few months.
"But I always knew there would be a time when I was going to be fit so it could have been worse. The main goal is to stay fit and play as many games as I can next season so pre-season is a big thing in my mind."