Northern Ireland international boss praises transfers of Derby County and Nottingham Forest stars

Chris Baird and Jamie Ward have both made moves in the East Midlands this summer.

Northern Ireland international manager Michael O’Neill has been expressing his joy at the moves made by Derby County and Nottingham Forest newbies Chris Baird and Jamie Ward.

The two will be international team-mates playing on opposite sides of perhaps the fiercest derby in the Championship next term as Derby and Forest do battle in the East Midlands clash.

But O’Neill is pleased both players will be getting more regular football.

He told the Belfast Telegraph:

"Going to Derby is a great move for Chris Baird and I think Jamie Ward's transfer to Nottingham Forest can work for him."

Of course O’Neill will be hoping they get extra playing time. Last season Baird was with West Bromwich Albion. He managed just 800 minutes of Premier League football, starting just the nine games.

Ward on the other hand was at Derby. The Rams did not use him on a regular basis. Ward started just the 21 games in The Championship last season from a possible 46, so will be hoping for more regular football now he has switched to the City Ground.

Northern Ireland are currently second in their European Championships qualifying group, just one point behind Romania and seven points clear of the Faroe Islands outside of the play-off spots.

So O’Neill will hope that the Derby and Forest moves will see Baird and Ward getting more regular football, so they are fighting fit for what could be a monumental qualifying campaign.

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