Paul Clement suggests main positive Chris Baird creates for Derby

Derby County stadium entrance

Derby County manager Paul Clement has explained how he feels Chris Baird helps the side.

Derby County manager Paul Clement has told the Derby Telegraph that the versatile Chris Baird will be a great advantage for the club over the coming season.

Clement has talked about having already used Baird in different roles in the Derby first team, as he mulls over where to start the experienced player once the season gets underway.

Although Clement doesn’t appear to have settled on a position, he’s certainly showing no signs that he feels that’s a problem.

“We have seen Chris Baird in his two main positions, though he could play centre-back and left-back as well,” he told the Derby Telegraph.

“We have seen him in midfield and at right-back and he is very competent in both positions. That is a great advantage for us.”

The merit in starting him in defence

There is an argument for Clement starting Baird in a defensive position, because it’s important the club keep clean sheets and get off to a solid start defensively in the Championship.

There were times in the last campaign, especially over the second half of the season, where the club suffered in terms of lapses in defensive concentration.

If Derby can keep clean sheets and pick up points, it will create confidence and Baird gives them a better chance of doing that.

The merit in starting him in midfield

It also makes some sense to start him in a midfield role, offering protection to the back four.

That will allow the backline to develop and gel with an extra safety net, which could be important over the first few games.

It’s also a position where he can drop off into a five-man backline if needed.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch