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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Maloney sets Scotland Euro target
Shaun Maloney
Maloney scored a spectacular free-kick in the Svangaskard Stadium
Shaun Maloney hopes that he can improve his club form with Aston Villa to ensure an international berth as Scotland seek to qualify for Euro 2008.

The five-times capped midfielder scored in the Faroe Islands to help secure three vital points after a 2-0 victory.

"I definitely haven't settled at Villa yet and I haven't really played that well so far," he said.

"I got a run in the team at the start but hopefully by the time next season comes I'll be playing a bit better."

Maloney has struggled to impose himself with the Birmingham club since moving from Celtic in January.

And he knows he has to make a Premiership impact to keep in Alex McLeish's international thoughts.

"Off the field, I was very happy in Glasgow and it's a big change for me, but we'll see how I cope next season," he said.

The former Celtic playmaker - the 2005/06 SPFA player and young player of the year winner - admitted it was a relief to take the points in Toftir, which has proved to be a graveyard for previous Scotland teams.

"We knew why they were taking us back here," he said.

"It was nice to get the first goal as it really took the pressure off us and the second goal came quite quickly afterwards.

There was quite a bit of pressure in the game because we were expected to win - I guess that comes with international football

Shaun Maloney

"We know the history of the games against the Faroes and we trained at the stadium where they play most teams.

"There was quite a bit of pressure in the game because we were expected to win. I guess that comes with international football."

The Scots are competing in with group rivals France, Italy and Ukraine for the opportunity to appear in the finals in Austria and Switzerland next summer.

Maloney, a late replacement for Lee McCulloch, netted a 31st minute free kick, with Garry O'Connor grabbing a second.

"We needed to win because the team had done so well to get us into this position in the group," the midfielder explained.

"We know it's essential to beat the bigger sides in order to qualify, so let's hope we can do it."



SEE ALSO
Faroe Islands 0-2 Scotland
06 Jun 07 |  Internationals
McLeish acclaims Scots in Toftir
06 Jun 07 |  Internationals


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