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Chris Baird motivated to beat NSI Runavik

last updated Friday 08th July 2011, 2:12 PM

Fulham defender Chris Baird
Fulham defender
Chris Baird
Chris Baird
Northern Ireland defender Chris Baird says the prospect of a trip back to his homeland next week will help motivate him for Fulham's Europa League encounter at Faroese minnows NSI Runavik on Thursday.

The County Antrim-born defender and his team-mates head into the first qualifying round clash against NSI boasting a 3-0 lead from the first leg at Craven Cottage, with the winner set for a clash against Crusaders of the IFA Premiership.

While Baird insists the Cottagers will not take NSI lightly, the former Southampton man admits he is buoyed by the prospect of a possible trip to Belfast.

"It would be nice obviously to get back to Ireland. I don't go back much myself," he said.

"It would be another tough game because I know what to expect from them.

"It's not easy going away to any team and as I said before we've got the quality in the team and we're getting fit, and we'll be raring to go."

Baird and international team-mate Aaron Hughes are the only two Fulham players to have travelled to the Faroe Islands before, having faced the national team last October in a European Championship qualification match.

"It's up on a big hill - it's windy, cold - not the best facilities," he said, speaking of the Svangaskard Stadium, Toftir. "But we have to go there and do the job.

"You have to treat every team with respect, no matter who they are.

"It's down to us at the end of the day. We know that we're the better team, with great experience and good players.

"We have to go there and do the job, get a win and get back home and qualify, getting into the next round.

"It's nice to see these different places, obviously I've been there before, so I know what to expect.

"I'm sure for other players it will be an eye-opener because there's not a lot there and not a lot to do.

"It's going to be short and sharp but we know what to expect, so we'll go there, get the job done and get back home again."

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