Sanchez backs Baird

After conceding he is short of viable alternatives

Baird: Tough start

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Lawrie Sanchez has backed Chris Baird to beat the Fulham boo-boys and establish himself at Craven Cottage.

The former Northern Ireland boss worked with Baird on the international arena and remains an admirer of the man he brought to West London from Southampton in the summer.

Thus far though and the central defender has failed to convince the Fulham faithful of his capabilities, with a number of errors being punished in the club's goals conceded column.

Sanchez has spoken to the player about stepping up to the required standard, while at the same time conceding he has few other alternatives.

Quiet word

"I have had a word with Chris," said Sanchez.

"For every mistake he has made, there has been a goal, unfortunately. I am not hiding from that but at this moment in time there is no alternative in his position. It does take time to step up sometimes.

"He is finding his feet, I know that and he knows that but people will have to be patient. It doesn't help any player if people are getting on his back but he is the only one who can get through it."