Maloney wants Scotland role
Shaun Maloney is hoping to establish himself in the Scotland squad under new boss George Burley.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 06/02/08 9:56am
Winger hoping becoming a Villan will make him a Scotland hero
Shaun Maloney is hoping to establish himself in the Scotland squad under new boss George Burley after being on the fringes of the international scene for too long.
Despite being involved in a number of games during Scotland's impressive, but ultimately unsuccessful, Euro 2008 qualification campaign the Aston Villa winger was largely restricted to cameo appearances with little time to show what he is capable of.
Problems settling into his new life in England following a move from Celtic hardly helped matters, but after finally finding his feet in Birmingham, Maloney is now hoping to play an important part for his country when the 2010 World Cup qualifiers get underway later this year.
"I fully understand the position the last Scotland manager was in," he told the Daily Record.
"I wasn't playing regularly so I wasn't match fit.
"It's something I do think about because playing for Scotland is a massive thing for me and it's something I can hopefully remedy.
"The team has done really well over the last couple of years.
"We've been on the up ever since Walter Smith took over. Obviously, we were unfortunate in the way the last campaign ended. I guess that's something we want to put right, we need to qualify next time.
"The players now believe we can do it and that's massively important.
"Every couple of summers we have had to sit and watch the rest of the world at the big events and that has been frustrating.
"But now I think everyone in the squad feels we can achieve it. It didn't happen for us last time round and without wishing to sound arrogant, we certainly believe we can do it this time. The new campaign should not hold any fear for us."
If Maloney is to play a key role for his country then he knows that he must first establish himself at club level, something which he has struggled to do since arriving in the England.
While admitting that he has not featured as often as he would have liked at Villa this season, he has impressed in recent weeks and revealed that he is beginning to feel more at home in the Premier League.
"Obviously, I would like to play a lot more than I have been but I am enjoying myself a lot more than I did in the first six months or so," he said.
"It took me a while to settle, probably until the start of this season. Now the only problem I have is I just want to play more.
"It's been quite frustrating but I'm not too down about it because whenever I have played I feel I have done reasonably well. But the team is also doing well and I have to accept everything doesn't revolve around me.
"All I can do is try my best to get into the team and do the best I can."