Derby County extended their unbeaten away record to five games after they took a point from Craven Cottage last night.
The hosts finished strongly and had the majority of the play so Rams boss Gary Rowett was pleased to avoid defeat and he singled out one player in particular for praise – Chris Baird.
With Andre Wisdom missing out because of personal reasons, the Northern Irishman stepped in at right-back to face his former club and performed well. And, Rowett revealed he had no issues about bringing the 35-year old for his first appearance since September.
“When you’ve got a fantastic player like Chris Baird to come in, you’re not worried at all. He steps in and does the job brilliantly. He’s been excellent. There have been some games where I’ve thought ‘you know what, we could do with Bairdy’s quality’ and some of that experience in there at times,” he told the Derby Telegraph.
The Rams are back in action at Pride Park on Tuesday when they welcome QPR and it remains to be seen whether Wisdom will be available for selection.
Having reliable players like Chris Baird can be invaluable over the course of a season. You wouldn’t want him starting every game, but he is versatile and can do plenty of different jobs.
That’s what he did yesterday against a pacey and intelligent Fulham frontline, but Baird was assured throughout.
Wisdom offers more pace and threat going forward, but Rowett knows that Baird will fill in anywhere and that will be important as the season progresses particularly in the next month as the games pile up.
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