Baird to miss Sweden game
By Robin Hackett
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Chris Baird has ruled himself out of Northern Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifier with Sweden.
Chris Baird will play no part in Northern Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifier with Sweden on Wednesday after ruling himself out with a groin strain.
But the 25-year-old is hopeful he can return for Southampton's away game with play-off rivals Wolves.
Baird was included in the Northern Ireland squad for the qualifiers despite picking up the injury in mid-March as boss Lawrie Sanchez had hoped he would make a speedy recovery.
However, he missed the 4-1 win over Liechtenstein on Saturday and now says there is no chance he will be fit before the weekend.
"It's still very sore," he told Southampton's official website. "There's no way I'd be right for Wednesday, but I've not given up hope for Saturday.
"I'm desperately disappointed to be missing the game because, if we win, we go top of the group.
"But now I'm focusing on trying to get right for Saturday, which is a huge game for Southampton. If we win, we'll be right back in there, so hopefully I'll recover in time."