CHRIS BAIRD has spoken of his "frustration and disappointment" at almost two seasons out in the St Mary's cold.

The 23-year-old burst on the scene for Saints at the end of the 2002/3 campaign and was the surprise star of the FA Cup final defeat against Arsenal.

But he has since played more for country than club and will line up against the likes of David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard on Saturday for Northern Ireland in the World Cup qualifier against England at Old Trafford.

"I have not played for Southampton all season and that has been very frustrating and disappointing," said Baird.

"It is good to meet up with the Northern Ireland boys again, concentrate on the qualifiers we have coming up and get my mind off what has happened at Southampton.

"I am still working very hard and if I get my chance then I will take it.

"I played in the FA Cup final two years ago, but have hardly figured since."

Baird is at a loss to explain why he has remained down the pecking order under Gordon Strachan, Paul Sturrock, Steve Wigley and now Harry Redknapp, but stressed he wants to remain with Saints.

"I don't know why things have not gone as I would have hoped," he said.

"Maybe the fact there have been several changes of management have not helped. I come into training every day and work hard.

"Since Harry Redknapp arrived he has been looking to the senior players to try to get the club out of trouble. That is fair enough, but it's still very frustrating that I have not played a part.

"I went out on loan to Walsall and Watford and thoroughly enjoyed both spells because I was back involved in first team football again. Both teams treated me well and I had a good time."

Baird is still determined to fight for the right-back position which is currently occupied by Rory Delap.

He added: "I have one more year left on my contract, so next season is a massive one for me. No-one knows yet what the future holds, whether we stay in the Premiership or get relegated.

"But whatever happens, I would like to think I still have a future at Southampton.

"I love it here and do not want to move.

"I am only 23, but I have already been here eight years and as far as I am concerned this is my club.

"I still have time on my side, but I want to be out there playing in the first team and that is what makes it so hard at the moment."