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

By Steven Beacom

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."

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

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Belfast Telegraph