CHRIS BAIRD'S agent has revealed how he is desperate to get the FA Cup final star out of St Mary's on loan to protect his World Cup hopes.

Agent Gary Williams "will be knocking on some doors" in a bid to drum up some interest in the Saints right-back ahead of next Wednesday's transfer deadline closure.

Baird has been told he can go out on loan as boss Harry Redknapp prefers Martin Cranie as right-back cover for Tomasz Hajto.

Hajto, even though he is mainly a central defender, has been playing at right-back in the Championship, with Cranie taking over at Southend on Monday.

Rory Delap was deployed at right-back in the 3-2 loss at Luton - the only game that Saints have failed to keep a clean sheet in this season.

Baird, therefore, is about to go out on loan for the third time.

He went to Walsall and Watford in 2003/04 - he played 10 and eight games respectively - after failing to capitalise on his appearance in the FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Since that surprise appearance at Cardiff, Baird has only made one more competitive start for Saints - against Arsenal in December 2003.

A succession of managers have ignored his claims, even though he has remained a regular for the Northern Ireland team under Lawrie Sanchez.

Though he missed the recent friendly with Malta through a groin injury, he is expected to be named in the squad which hosts England in Belfast on Wednesday, September 7.

Williams said: "I'm looking to get Chris out on loan - with the World Cup qualifiers coming up he needs to be playing games.

"We won't go any further down than the Championship.

"I'll be knocking on a few doors - but it's not easy, as Chris hasn't played for 12 months.

" Millwall boss Colin Lee took Baird to Walsall on loan and it could be the player might be brought in to solidify a defence which let in five at Reading last weekend.

Paul Sturrock was keen on taking Baird to Sheffield Wednesday on loan, but had to shelve plans when his search for strikepower became more urgent in the wake of numerous injuries.