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Maloney Looking For Impact

After having a somewhat inconsistent and 'homesick' season, Shaun Maloney is hoping to get the chance to build on his performace against Walsall last night.

The diminutive midfielder scored twice against Walsall and by all accounts looked pretty lively and he's hoping he has shown enough to be included in the line up for Odense.

The rumblings of a return to Celtic still haven't gone away but we haven't had a 'I miss my deep fried Mars bars' interview for a while, so hopefully he's a bit more settled now. It will certainly help if he gets a run in the team - we all know he has the talent, but question marks remain if he has the strength for the Premiership.

Speaking to the official site, he said:

"Fingers crossed I can play a part against Odense.

"The boys played pretty well in patches in Odense so I think it will be difficult to break into the starting line-up for the second leg. But I`ve done all I can so hopefully the manager knows I`m ready if the call comes.

'Saturday is a great opportunity to move closer to the UEFA Cup but at the same time we can`t afford to be complacent.

'I think we saw in patches over in Denmark that they`re a decent team. They`re not bad going forward and they`ve got a goal threat. I think we have to be wary of them but with the quality we`ve got, hopefully we`ve got enough.

'It was said to us before last weekend`s game that, even though it`s InterToto, that`s what we worked all last season for.

'We were unfortunate to finish sixth and not qualify automatically for the UEFA Cup but we`ve still got the chance and it`s a massive incentive."

Maloney was delighted and impressed with the performance against Walsall, given the fact a number of the squad were out of position and the rest were on the youthful side.

"It was a pretty decent run out for us. They played some decent stuff as well and tried to have a go at playing some decent football.

'We were a little bit disappointed to be going in 1-0 down at half-time because we created quite a few chances in the first-half.

'But thankfully in the second-half we turned it round. So it was a good 90 minutes to get under our belts.

'That was my second free-kick in pre-season but hopefully I won`t use them all up in friendlies. Hopefully I`ll score a few in the League or maybe even this weekend.

'For my second goal it was a good shot from Moustapha Salifou. We know he can hit them. I just gambled on the follow-up and luckily it bounced right for me.

'The winner was a great goal from Wayne Routledge. Zoltan Stieber put in a great ball as he made a good run from left-back and I always fancied Wayne to put it away. It was a good finish.

'We haven`t had the best of performances or results in recent pre-season games.

'It was a young team last night but it was stressed before the game and at half-time that although it was a run-out for the fitness, winning is a big part of it. Thankfully we did that."

The stars of last nights show were undoubtedly the two Nathan's, Mr Baker and Mr Delfouneso, so I wouldn't be surprised if we see slightly more of them as the season progresses.




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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 23 2008

Time: 5:11PM

Your Comments

Hopefully he starts on Saturday. He is a match winner, and no doubt the two goals against Walsall helped with his confidence, and would be eager to play more often. Hopefully after a year and a half in Birmingham he is settled and can let his football do the talking and produce the goods we all no he is capable of. If played as often as Gabby or even Petrov, no doubt he can get atleast 15 goals a season!
JOHN.CAREWS.CREW
Like to see him start on Saturday, feeding off Big JC, the flick on's and the knock downs. He had a so-so game at The Banks Stadium. Scored two goals, you cant knock that, looked lively at times, yet still tends to disappear for long spells. I'm not personally 100% convinced about him as a long term premiership player, but at this moment in time, with such a small squad offering so few options, he certainly has something to contribute to the cause. Maybe an extended run in the starting line up would be the making of him?
glensider
I agree he deserves a run in the side. Last season he always seemed to be the unlucky one to be substituted or left out after scoring. Don't doubt his strength and he also a 'mean streak' too, just wonder if he loses concentration at times and gets a bit left behind.
Gordonsleftboot
This upcoming season will be his most important one yet for us. I think it will be his last chance to show he is good enough to cut it in the big boy league or he will be sent back across the border to play in the mickey mouse league.
Tez86
Agree Tez86. No matter what we as individuals think about him, he has to do his talking out on the pitch, and prove to MON that he's worth a starting role. At times he looks a clever little player, yet at others he looks out of his depth.
glensider
Hows Stan Petrov working out?
R.K
Petrov is working out in the new state of the art gym at Bodymoor, same as the other players. :o)
The Fear
 

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