Paul Clement says he already has complete faith in Derby County's summer signing Chris Baird

Chris Baird has already made eight appearances for Derby County.

Derby County manager Paul Clement has told the Derby Telegraph that Chris Baird does not deserve the criticism he has received at the iPro Stadium so far. 

Baird arrived at Derby in the summer transfer window and has immediately been given a key role in the team, along with being handed the captain's armband.

However, despite Clement's faith in him, a section of Derby supporters have been less than impressed with the former West Bromwich Albion man's performances.

Baird was off the pace in Derby's 3-1 win against Milton Keynes Dons in their most recent outing, but Clement insists that he still has complete faith in the Northern Ireland international. 

"Chris came in for a little bit of criticism at the weekend and I thought it was a little bit unfair because you don't have to go back too far to the Preston game," Clement said. 

"It was in the dying moments of that game, when we were being bombarded with aerial balls into our box, that he showed all of his qualities.

"He showed his positioning and his bravery in the way he attacked that ball late on. Someone with less experience, less quality, less heart in that situation might have lost the header and Joe Garner puts it in the back of the net.

"Chris really put himself on the line in that situation. Three points were ours, he went off to hospital, he could not train for the next four or five days and missed matches.

"Then he comes back, probably less than 100% but those kind of things are easily forgotten – but I don't forget them. So far, Chris has been a great addition to the team and as captain as well."

Baird has made eight appearances for the Rams so far, and has shown his versatility during his brief time with the club.

The 33-year-old has been deployed as a right-back and in defensive midfield so far, but he still appears to have some work to do if he is to win over all of the supporters at Derby. 

The Rams have a squad packed with quality, and any dip in standards naturally means that players will quickly come under pressure to improve, such is the competition for places. 

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