FORMER Celtic star Shaun Maloney admitted he was “relieved” after scoring his first goal for Chicago Fire in a 3-2 win over Toronto FC.
The Scotland midfielder, who joined the MLS outfit from Wigan in January, struggled to make an impact in his previous three games.
But the 32-year-old inspired his new club to a hard-fought victory set up the opening goal for Joevin Jones and hauled Fire back into the game with the equaliser before they sealed the points.
Maloney, who netted two penalty-kicks in the 6-1 Euro 2016 qualifier over Gibraltar at Hampden last Sunday, said: “I always want to try to do as much as I can for my team-mates.
“They expect me to score and assist. It’s a new league and a new country, but in sport you don’t get any time to adjust.
“There was a lot of relief in my goal celebration.”
The two-time Hoops performer added: “We’re starting to improve. I think this was a really good result and a good show from the team.
“We went 2-1 down, but came back to win and that is a good sign for the personnel on the team. There’s definitely been an improvement with each game we’ve played.”
Head coach Frank Yallop said: “It’s difficult for some players to settle. I thought Shaun played well.
“He stuck to it and obviously getting a goal is going to boost his confidence.
“Shaun’s a great team player. He works hard and wants to do all the right things.
“That’s the reason why we give him chances and keep going with him.
“He’s going to turn the corner for sure and this game was a great way to do that with a goal.”