Shaun Maloney: I owe this club


Shaun Maloney is determined to make it a season to remember starting tomorrow night against Utrecht.

The midfielder has started just 15 SPL matches since returning from Aston Villa two years ago and has failed to recapture the form that made him a double Player of the Year winner in 2005/2006.

Neil Lennon is the third manager that the midfielder has played under since returning to Celtic with Maloney desperate to make up for lost time.

“I still feel like I owe this club quite a lot,” he admitted. “Over the last year and a half I haven’t been able to give as much as I would like on the park.

“The fans have been great with me since I returned, even whilst I’ve been injured. They’ve been very supportive and that’s appreciated.

“I’m very fortunate to be at the club and I enjoy playing for Celtic. When you run out and it’s a full house you realise that this is the place that you want to be playing at and I hope it continues.

“I want to be on the park as much as possible over the coming years and contribute to a successful team.”

At the age of 27 Maloney finds himself the longest serving player at the club.

It’s a far cry from the day at Ibrox where he made his debut in a 3-0 rout of Rangers surrounded by the most famous Celts of recent times.

Amongst his team-mates that day were the current management team with Maloney respecting the way that Neil Lennon has adjusted to the switch into management.

“You just know he is the manager and what he says goes,” the midfielder told The Celtic View. “He is the authority figure but if I’m honest as a player he had that authority anyway. It’s just taking more shape now that he is the manager.

“He was a well respected player and that didn’t just come from what he did on the pitch. He was also very demanding on the training ground and those things haven’t changed.

“With him, Johan, Thommo and Parksy things have been enjoyable but hard work, we know what they expect from us.

“The training was really really competitive when they played here and that’s what they have passed on because it’s that way again.

“The dressing room is great, it’s as happy as it can be. Everyone knows what the goal is this season and we’re determined to achieve it.

“I think that every new player is improving the squad. The players that the manager has brought in look really good and they’re all up for the challenge of winning the league back.”

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