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It’s been all change recently at Derby County. With promotion not a priority, they dispensed with the services of head coach Paul Clement and replaced him with Darren Wassall who immediately stripped former Burnley defender Chris Baird of the captaincy.

Baird had replaced Richard Keogh as club captain last summer after signing from West Brom. It was clearly a decision Keogh was unhappy with as shown with his after match comments after our 0-0 draw at Pride Park earlier in the season.

1314 burnley chris baird 00 300x500He’s only started eight games so the captaincy on match days has often gone to Chris Martin and Stephen Warnock, who had the captain’s armband on recently at Turf Moor.

Wassall, however, in one of his first decisions as head coach, reinstalled Keogh as club captain and now he’s said his goodbyes to Baird who has joined Fulham on an emergency loan for the remainder of the season, going back to the club he served for six years between 2007 and 2013 following a £3 million plus move from Southampton.

Wassall said: “Chris obviously has a very big summer ahead of him with Northern Ireland at the European Championships and as a club, we wanted to give him the best chance of doing well in such a massive international competition.

“Chris has been a complete professional since I became head coach ten days ago. He has supported me brilliantly in training, on and off the field, and last night we wished each other all the best when we spoke.”

Baird himself said: “When the opportunity arose I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted to come and be part of this again. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the fans again. They were fantastic to me over the six years that I was here previously.”

The Northern Ireland international signed for us just under two years ago. With Kieran Trippier having suffered a hamstring injury, Sean Dyche moved quickly to bring the free agent to Turf Moor. He started five games in Trippier’s absence, making his debut at Charlton in a 3-0 win. He made two further substitute appearances before turning down the offer of a longer deal for family reasons.

He signed for West Brom in the summer of 2014 before moving to Derby last summer. He’ll now celebrate his 34th birthday next week back at the club for whom he has made almost half of his league appearances.

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