CHRIS BAIRD could leave Saints if he fails to force his way into Paul Sturrock's plans for next season.

The FA Cup final hero says he was "very disappointed" to be frozen out of the first team at the beginning of the season and admits his St Mary's future currently hangs in the balance.

After being recalled on Monday from a loan spell at Watford, he is now desperate to feature at some stage in Saints' remaining three Premiership games to convince Sturrock he is the man to eventually replace Jason Dodd at right-back.

Baird, who also faces competition from Darren Kenton for that position, has not yet signed an offered one-year extension to his Saints contract, which runs out at the end of the season.

He said: "There's two weeks left and hopefully I can get a run out in these last three games. I want to stay here. It is a fantastic club. I've been here six years and I don't want to leave.

"But if the contract is not right and I'm not happy, there is no point in staying. I want to play games and I'll just have to see what happens and speak to a few people."

"I'm not sure what I will do, I will have to speak to my agent, speak to the club, speak to the manager and sort it out from there.

"I was very disappointed earlier in the season. I played against Manchester City, then in the Cup final, then the internationals and I came back and didn't get a look in for about six months."

Baird, 22, is full of praise for the job skipper Dodd has done for Saints this season, but explained that he also wants to be playing competitive football at this stage of his career.

"Doddsey is an experienced player and he has played really well this season, before his injury," he said.

"Gordon Strachan said he was going to play him because he is an experienced player and because he has done well, so I thought I had to play somewhere else to get some games.

"It was totally up to me whether I went out and I said I would go out and play a few games.

"It's just been good to be playing and that's why I went. I don't mind helping out the reserves but I had to go somewhere to get games under my belt and I've done that, enjoyed it and done well."

Saints boss Sturrock was among the spectators as Baird featured for the reserves in the 2-0 win against Ipswich on Tuesday night.

"I think the reserve game might be the first time he has seen me," said Baird.

"If I do get in the first team I will really go for it. If not, I'm really not sure what will happen.

"But hopefully they have noticed I have done well on the two loan spells at Walsall and Watford and that I can play really well."

Jacinto Ela Eyene's contract with Southampton has been cancelled by mutual consent.

The midfielder suffered a serious knee injury towards the end of last season.