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Chris Baird explains why he jumped at the chance to return to Fulham on loan from Derby County

The 33-year-old is thrilled to be back to help the Whites ahead of their relegation scrap

Open arms: Baird as a former White

Fulham’s returning fan favourite Chris Baird is delighted to call Craven Cottage home again after playing in the Whites’ 3-0 victory over Charlton.

The Northern Irish midfielder recently received a rapturous reception when he returned to west London in Derby colours in the 1-1 draw earlier this month.

But the 33-year-old is thrilled to be back to help Fulham ahead of their relegation scrap.

He said: “It was fantastic. I had six great years here before, I obviously missed it when i left. When the opportunity arose, there was an option to come back.

“It was a massive win. Three goals and a clean sheet. It was a pretty strange game though, Charlton played well in the first half.

“The manager’s changed it in the second half - I thought we were a lot better. In the end, I think we deserved a win.”

The Cottagers’ new central midfielder played for the Whites during their famous Europa League campaign which culminated in a defeat to Atletico Madrid in 2010.

And the club needed all his experience again as they went into Saturday’s relegation clash six points above the relegation zone, against 23rd placed Charlton.

Two goals from Tom Cairney - including one brilliant volley - sandwiched a Michael Madl header as Slavisa Jokanovic’s men scrapped to victory.

And Baird admits his experience was a crucial factor in the manager’s decision to bring him back to Craven Cottage.

He added: “For me, it was about trying to get some games. I’m not saying I’m going to come straight into the team, I’m going to work for my place.

“The manager has just said he needs my experience, the holding midfielder to go in and help as much as he can, use the experience from previous years and try to just help the team.”

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