These days Ian Baird is Sutton United’s assistant manager, but back in the mid-to-late 1980s he was firing in the goals at Elland Road for Leeds United. And this weekend the two clubs will meet in the Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round.
Ahead of the tie at Gander Green Lane, we managed to grab a quick word with the former Eastleigh boss.
He told Ladbrokes News: “I would say it’s a dream tie for me, thanks to my connections and history with Leeds.”
“Leeds United fans have always been very, very kind to me and it’s quite surreal really finding that fans still remember you some 25 or 30 years after you played for them, but it’s very, very nice!”
The Yorkshire outfit have had their fair share of highs and lows since Baird left in 1990. But after dropping down into League One, are making their way back up under Garry Monk.
“I was doing a bit of work for Leeds a couple of years ago, on the radio, and seeing what was going on off the field was a little bit disheartening,” Baird added.
“You’ve got to respect anyone who comes in to a football club and puts money into it, but by every stretch of the imagination the way Massimo Cellino went about it was a bit like a Jeremy Beadle’s TV show, a little bit of a joke.”
“But I think Garry’s been able to deal with that superbly, he was under pressure earlier in the season, but he’s managed to stave off that,” explained the former Leeds hotshot.
“They grabbed another great result this week and they’re flying at the moment. They’ll be up against it to catch Newcastle and Brighton, but it’s great to see them in the mix.”
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing