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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Friday, 24 September 2010 16:46 UK

Shaun Maloney aims for recall to Scotland squad

Shaun Maloney in action for Scotland against Holland in September 2009
Maloney's season ended abruptly last year with an Achilles injury

Shaun Maloney hopes his impressive form for Celtic at the start of the season will earn him a call-up to the Scotland squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Scotland take on the Czech Republic and Spain in October and the midfielder has his eye on the role vacated by injured Birmingham City player James McFadden.

Maloney, 27, with 17 caps, said: "I'm very hopeful that I'll be in the squad.

"But if not, you respect the decision and try harder for the next squad. You are always proud to be selected."

Maloney is beginning to match the level of performance he was showing last season before an Achilles injury ruined his campaign.

His manager at Celtic, Neil Lennon, has played him in an attacking left-midfield role, but his ability to operate in central midfield or as a striker could be an asset to Scotland boss Craig Levein.

I was pretty happy with my form at this time last year but that got curtailed with injury

Celtic's Shaun Maloney

With McFadden sustaining a cruciate ligament injury last week, Maloney has the chance to force his way into the squad for the double-header on 8 and 12 October.

However, he will face competition for a place in the team.

McFadden's poor displays in the recent goalless draw in Lithuania and the narrow home win over Liechtenstein allowed West Brom's James Morrison the chance to shine when he came on as a sub at Hampden for the City forward.

Levein was delighted at Morrison's impact and he will surely feature prominently in the manager's thoughts in the qualifying campaign.

The former Aston Villa player said: "It's been a really good start for Scotland and they are top of the table but, to be fair, I think with any national squad, no matter what predicament they are in, you are always proud and privileged to be selected so fingers crossed.

"I was pretty happy with my form at this time last year but that got curtailed with injury.

"It's only five games in to this season but it's a good start.

"When you are out injured you miss being part of the squad and that is one of the things that have been so pleasing at the start of this season, being involved with the squad.

"It was something that I definitely missed last season."

Maloney, born in Malaysia, last represented Scotland in September 2009 in a 1-0 home defeat by the Netherlands.

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see also
McFadden sidelined by knee injury
17 Sep 10 |  Birmingham
Maloney seeks to impress new boss
04 Jun 10 |  Celtic

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