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View From The Town End: Chris Baird

Reading completed the signing of Northern Ireland international Chris Baird this week and the utility man had an immediate impact, helping Reading win 3-1 at Derby yesterday. To get a bit more of a view on Baird we spoke to Fulham blogger Kristian Balkin who writes for fellow SB Nation site Cottagers Confidential.

Christopher Lee

Chris Baird is a player we're going to miss at Fulham, not least for his versatility. You've bagged yourself a natural defender who can play anywhere across the back line or in midfield, and he's not particularly weak in any position.

He's naturally strong and intellectual - someone you'll rarely find out of place or out-muscled. That said, he is of course getting on a bit and if you're going to stick him at full back you will struggle for pace and there'll be little-to-no overlapping.

But I'm sure that's not what you signed him for. He'll do the basics very well and even has a penchant for the sublime. A brace against Stoke City was perhaps his finest hour, and from there the nickname 'Bairdinho' - he scored a free kick and a fine long range effort - stuck.

What he's most known for at Craven Cottage is his reliability, though. He never let us down and made very, very few errors. He's one of few players who, when around, made you feel a little more comfortable.

The only reason we would let him go is most likely his own desire to get first team football. While he may be superb, we do have more premium players at the club and with each summer that has passed, he's moved further and further down the pecking order.

That said, you've still got yourself a brilliant player on the cheap. Use him wisely enough and he'll do you a fine job.

Thanks again to Kristian and you can follow the lads from Cottagers Confidential on Twitter @CottagersC