Chris Baird hoping Derby County can realise Premier League dream

New Derby signing Chris Baird (right)
New Derby signing Chris Baird (right)

Chris Baird insists he is up for the challenge after signing for Sky Bet Championship club Derby County.

Baird has put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal with the Rams – with the option of a further 12 months – following his release from West Brom.

The 33-year-old Northern Ireland international becomes Derby’s fifth signing following the arrivals of Andreas Weimann, Darren Bent, Alex Pearce and Scott Carson.

“I am delighted to be at Derby County and be a part of the club,” said Baird.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“The players the club have been bringing in so far have been top quality.

“That can only stand us in good stead for the new season.”

Baird added on Derby’s official website: “I have come here to help in any way that I can. It’s up to the Head Coach at the end of the day – whether it is the holding midfield role or anywhere across the back four – I just want to play football.

“I know that it is not going to be easy, but I’m going to work hard here and I hope that I will be able to play a lot of games.

“The leagues (Barclays Premier League and Sky Bet Championship) are very different, but everything about this club is geared up to be playing in the Premier League.

“With the new Head Coach, the club have been making Premier League signings and I’m in doubt that we are going to have a terrific season.

“I’m looking forward to coming in now in just over a week’s time and getting down to the hard work.

“I’ve done a few pre-seasons now. It’s an exciting time for the club and I’m looking forward to a successful season.”

Baird began his career with Southampton and also had spells with Fulham, Reading and Burnley before joining West Brom in July 2014.

The versatile defender – who won his 72nd Northern Ireland cap against Romania last Saturday – played 24 times for West Brom last season.

Rams boss Paul Clement believes Baird’s experience will be a valuable asset next season

“He is an excellent professional and an important addition on the pitch and in the dressing room,” he said.