Scotland v England: Caldwell backs Maloney

Scotland's Shaun Maloney celebrates scoring during the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier at Celtic Park, Glasgow
Scotland's Shaun Maloney celebrates scoring during the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier at Celtic Park, Glasgow

GARY Caldwell is backing Shaun Maloney to sparkle for Scotland in tonight’s friendly against old enemy England.

Maloney was the hero of the 1-0 victory over Ireland last Friday with the only goal, scored inside the final quarter.

The victory keeps alive Scotland’s chances of reaching the 2016 European Championships. The qualifying campaign has now been put on hold until March.

In the meantime, the Scots entertain England tonight in a friendly at Celtic Park. And Caldwell says the confidence inside the Tartan camp at the moment can underpin another famous victory. “I went to the last friendly against England last year at Wembley and it was a great game, a great atmosphere,” he told the Evening Post.

“I’m sure this will be amazing as well, because there’s no such thing as a friendly between Scotland and England.

“There’s a real feel-good factor around the place since Gordon Strachan took over, the place is buzzing, everyone is positive – which isn’t always the case in the national set-up.

“Hopefully we can carry that into game and we can get another win.

“I think it’ll be tight on the night, one goal will probably decide it, and hopefully we can just nick it.”

Caldwell, who attended the Ireland game with his son and father, is also ‘buzzing’ that close pal Maloney is making his mark on the international stage after a frustrating time at club level this term. “For Shaun to get the goal that won the game, I was obviously buzzing for him and it was also great for Wigan to be represented so well on the international stage,” Caldwell added.

“It was so similar to the goal he scored against Manchester United a couple of years ago – even the way his momentum carried him over to celebrate in the far corner of the ground.

“He does it all the time in training, I’ve seen him do it thousands of times, he brings such great quality to the table.

“To have been the difference in a game like that, of such magnitude, was absolutely great for him.”

Latics’ internationals will filter back into training this week to prepare for Saturday’s home game against Middlesbrough.