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Chris Baird insists his old aversion to playing at right back is a thing of the past – and he is ready to make the spot his own.

The Northern Ireland international, back in the Fulham side against Man City on Sunday after a spell out injured, had a nightmare start in the role after Lawrie Sanchez brought him to the club in July 2007.

He looked like a fish out of water and pined for a central defensive role. Salvation came when Roy Hodgson used him in midfield.

But with right back now seemingly up for grabs – neither Stephen Kelly nor John Pantsil being entrusted by Mark Hughes – Baird can see an opportunity.

“I really feel I can stake a claim to keep the place,” he said.

“I feel I’ve done well in the games I’ve played there.

“I know it’s not been my favourite position. Everyone knows that. The manager knows that too.

“But the more I’m playing there, the more confident I’m getting and hopefully I can hold that position down now.

“I think it’s got better through learning more things in training and with different managers – having had Roy Hodgson and now Mark Hughes in charge.

“You learn different things and the more you play, the more you know about a position and hopefully I can nail it down and keep my good form going.”