Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

We'll do the Northern Ireland proud, vows veteran Chris Baird

By Steven Beacom

Published 07/06/2016

Northern Ireland's Chris Baird and Oliver Norwood pictured during their first press conference in the Media Centre in France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Chris Baird and Oliver Norwood pictured during their first press conference in the Media Centre in France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood pictured during his press conference in the Media Centre in France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Chris Baird pictured during his press conference in the Media Centre in France ahead of their opening Euro 2016 game against Poland on Sunday. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's players run during a training session at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's captain Steven Davis (L) and coach Michael O'Neill (L) attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's captain Steven Davis (L) and coach Michael O'Neill (L) attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's forward Kyle Lafferty plays with the ball during a training session at their training ground in Saint-Georges-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's forward Kyle Lafferty plays with the ball during a training session at their training ground in Saint-Georges-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's defender Luke McCullough plays with the ball during a training session at their training ground in Saint-Georges-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's main coach Michael O'Neill (C) and players attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's main coach Michael O'Neill (2ndR) and players attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's main coach Michael O'Neill (2ndR) and players attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's players run during a training session at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's goalkeepers Roy Carroll (L) and Alan Mannus (C) run next to coach Maik Taylor (R) during a training session at their training ground in Saint-George-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's defender Luke McCullough (L) vies with Northern Ireland's midfielder Oliver Norwood (R) during a training session at their training ground in Saint-George-de-Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's players attend a training session at their training ground in Saint-George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's players attend a training session at their training ground in Saint-George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's players attend a training session at their training ground in Saint-George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's main coach Michael O'Neill (2ndR) and players attend a training session while water spray at their training ground in Saint George de Reneins on June 6, 2016 during the Euro 2016 football tournament. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they arrive at their team hotel at the start of their Euro 2016 adventure. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas, Jamie Ward and Kyle Lafferty pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they arrive at their team hotel at the start of their Euro 2016 adventure. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Media Centre in St Georges de Reneins, France which will be in use during the Euros 2016. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they arrive at their team hotel at the start of their Euro 2016 adventure. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they arrive at their team hotel at the start of their Euro 2016 adventure. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Lee Hodson and Conor Washington pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Gareth McAuley and Craig Cathcart pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Gareth McAuley and Craig Cathcart pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington and Shane Ferguson pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland coach pictured as the players step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill pictured as he stepped off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill pictured as he stepped off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's David Currie pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players and staff pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland players pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Alan Mannus pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland's Roy Carroll and Alan Mannus pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and IFA President Jim Shaw pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and IFA President Jim Shaw pictured as they step off the plane at Lyon Saint Exupery airport as they start their Euro 2016 adventure. They were met by the local Mayor and other dignitaries before getting onto the team coach and travelling to the team hotel. Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 05th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry
Kyle Lafferty, Paddy McNair, Gareth McAuley, Michael McGovern, Craig Cathcart, Jonny Evans, Shane Ferguson, Oliver Norwood, Steven Davis, Jamie Ward, Chris Baird. Credit: Rafal Rusek / PressFocus
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes fans than you Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
Northern Ireland's Patrick McNair (right) and Slovakia's Dusan Svento battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty exchanges words with Slovakia's Martin Skrtel during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland fans in the stands during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Chris Baird during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Martin Skrtel (right) and Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty shake hands during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty is spoken to by referee Radu Petrescu during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Martin Skrtel (rear) and Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Martin Skrtel (right) and Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Jan Durica (left) and Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes heads on goal during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky (right) and Northern Ireland's Josh Magennis battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland fans in the stands during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
DUBLIN, OH - JUNE 04: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Keegan Bradley walk down the fairway on the first hole during the third round of The Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 4, 2016 in Dublin, Ohio. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty receives treatment during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington (right) and Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes (right) and Slovakia's Martin Skrtel battle for the ball in the air during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Slovakia's Vladimir Weiss (L) and Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty (R) vie for a ball during the a UEFA EURO 2016 friendly football match between Slovakia and Northern Ireland in Trnava, on June 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEKVLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images
Slovakia's Martin Skrtel and Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley and Northern Ireland's Chris Baird (R) vie for a ball during the a UEFA EURO 2016 friendly football match between Slovakia and Northern Ireland in Trnava, on June 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEKVLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images
Norhern Ireland's goalkeeper Michael McGovern (L) and Slovakia's Michal Duris and Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley vie for a ball during the a UEFA EURO 2016 friendly football match between Slovakia and Northern Ireland in Trnava, on June 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEKVLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington (left) and Slovakia's Martin Skrtel battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood (left) and Slovakia's Ondrej Duda battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Norhern Ireland's goalkeeper Michael McGovern (L) and Slovakia's Michal Duris and Northern Ireland's Gareth McAuley vie for a ball during the a UEFA EURO 2016 friendly football match between Slovakia and Northern Ireland in Trnava, on June 4, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / VLADIMIR SIMICEKVLADIMIR SIMICEK/AFP/Getty Images
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington reacts after a challenge on Slovakia's Martin Skrtel during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Northern Ireland's Conor Washington (left) and Slovakia's Martin Skrtel battle for the ball during the International Friendly match at the Antona Malatinskeho Stadium, Trnava, Slovakia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Slovakia. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky with Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Martin Skrtel with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Northern Ireland fans during Saturday's International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland fans during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland fans during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Northern Ireland fan Kate Turner before Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty appeals for a penalty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Jamie Ward, Jan Durica Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michael Oneill Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michael Oneill Credit: Rafal Rusek / PressFocus
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Gareth McAuley, Dusan Svento Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Jamie Ward, Jan Durica Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Paddy McNair, Dusan Svento Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
PACEMAKER BELFAST 04/06/2016 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Craig Cathcart, Marek Hamsik Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER
2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michael Oneill Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Jan Durica with Northern Ireland's Steven Davis during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty appeals for a penalty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Dusan Svento with Northern Ireland's Steven Davis during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Paddy McNair Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Steven Davis, Juraj Kucka Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Kyle Lafferty kontuzja Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Kyle Lafferty kontuzja Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Kyle Lafferty kontuzja Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Jonny Evans, Michal Duris, Chris Baird Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Gareth McAuley, Michal Duris Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes zmiana Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes zmiana Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Craig Cathcart, Gareth McAuley, Martin Skrtel Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Jonny Evans, Michal Duris, Chris Baird Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes zmiana Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Vladimir Weiss, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Vladimir Weiss, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Vladimir Weiss, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michael McGovern, Michal Duris Credit: Rafal Rusek / PPACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Shane Ferguson, Juraj Kucka Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michal Duris, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michal Duris, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Shane Ferguson, Juraj Kucka Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Shane Ferguson, Juraj Kucka Credit: Rafal Rusek / PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Michal Duris, Aaron Hughes Credit: Rafal Rusek /PACEMAKER BELFAST
PACEMAKER BELFAST 2016.06.04 Trnava, Slovakia Football Friendly Game Slovakia - Northern Ireland Kyle Lafferty, Paddy McNair, Gareth McAuley, Michael McGovern, Craig Cathcart, Jonny Evans, Shane Ferguson, Oliver Norwood, Steven Davis, Jamie Ward, Chris Baird grupowka, group Credit: Rafal Rusek / PressFocus
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Martin Skrtel with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Martin Skrtel with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Martin Skrtel with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Vladimr Weiss with Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes gets his 100th cap against Slovakia during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Dusan Svento with Northern Ireland's Paddy McNair during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Vladimr Weiss with Northern Ireland's Oliver Norwood during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Aaron Hughes gets his 100th cap against Slovakia during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Jan Durica with Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Slovakia's Patrik Hrosovsky with Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty during Saturdays International Friendly at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 04th June 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during Saturdays International Friendly against Slovakia at the City Arena, Trnava. The game friendly is Northern Ireland's final warm-up game before travelling to their Euro 2016 base camp in France.

Chris Baird has told the people of Northern Ireland that the team will do them proud in the Euro 2016 finals.

And the veteran of 78 caps insists that a unique bond between the players can help Michael O'Neill's men achieve their aim of making it through to the knockout stages.

Baird, who started his international career in 2003, says that in all his time as a Northern Ireland player he has never known togetherness like it adding that the squad want to deliver for all the fans, who have been waiting three decades to see the side play in a major tournament.

More: Pumped-up Lafferty can't wait to leave his mark on the big stage

"This is the first time we have been here in 30 years and this is for the whole nation, not just us," said 34-year-old Baird.

"We want to do everyone proud and we are going into the tournament feeling good.

"We have got a great mixture of youth and experience and everything just gels.

"There is a close bond in this squad that maybe we haven't had before.

"In the past we would have had little groups who would stick together and while I'm not saying that's a bad thing because everyone is entitled to do what they want, nowadays everyone sticks together which is a major part of why we have done so well in this campaign.

"During the group games in France, I believe that spirit will really help us."

The Northern Ireland football squad with manager Michael ONeill before leaving for the Euro Finals.
ityAirport814jpg.jpg

More: Chris Baird: Even in the bad times I never wanted to quit Northern Ireland

Will Grigg
Will Grigg
Stuart Dallas
Stuart Dallas
Steven Davis
Steven Davis
Shane Ferguson
Roy Carroll
Paddy McNair
Paddy McCourt
Oliver Norwood
Oliver Norwood
Niall McGinn
Michael Smith
Michael Smith
Michael ONeill
Michael ONeill
Michael McGovern
Michael McGovern
Luke McCullough
Luke McCullough
Liam Boyce
Lee Hodson
Lee Hodson
Kyle Lafferty
Jonny Evans
Jamie Ward
Gareth McAuley
Gareth McAuley
Daniel Lafferty
Daniel Lafferty
Craig Cathcart
Corry Evans
Conor Washington
Conor McLaughlin
Chris Brunt
Chris Baird
Chris Baird
Billy McKay
Alan Mannus
Alan Mannus
Aaron Hughes
Aaron Hughes

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More