Bring on the big guns - Laird

BORO defender Scott Laird hopes to land a big team on the opening day of the Blue Square Premier season to send out a message to the league. The Conference fixtures are released on Friday as the start of the 2009/10 season edges ever closer and Laird fe

BORO defender Scott Laird hopes to land a big team on the opening day of the Blue Square Premier season to "send out a message" to the league.

The Conference fixtures are released on Friday as the start of the 2009/10 season edges ever closer and Laird feels it is important Boro hit the ground running to establish themselves as promotion candidates from day one.

"We want one of the bigger teams so we can really send out a message early on," the former Plymouth man told The Comet. "I think that with the squad that we've now got we can go and beat anyone.

"I've been really impressed by the new signings. I think the gaffer is going to have two different starting XIs to pick from looking at the amount of quality we've got in the squad."

Boro returned for the start of pre-season training on Sunday as manager Graham Westley sets about masterminding another assault on promotion.

Laird has had a slightly shorter break than most of his Boro team-mates due to his involvement with the England C squad against Belgium but the 21-year-old feels refreshed and ready to once again make the left back slot his own.

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"It's great to be back. Everyone's place is up for grabs in pre-season and it's up to you to show the manager that you're capable of doing the job.

"My personal aims are to keep that left back slot mine. I know that there will be other people pushing me for a starting place and I'm going to have to keep on my game."

While there is no obvious competition for Laird in his position, he is well aware that players like Lawrie Wilson demonstrated they are more than capable of filling in at several positions.

Wilson put in an assured display in the FA Trophy final against York when Laird was forced to sit out the occasion due to his sending off against Cambridge in the semi-final.

But Laird is only concerned with looking forward now and feels Boro have proved to their Blue Square rivals that they should be wary of Westley's men due to the consistency they showed last season from December onwards.

"We only lost something like three times in more than 30 games and on each of those occasions it was because we were down to 10 men," added Laird. "We obviously want to be up there again and it's up to us to make sure we are."

Check out the Boro fixture list for the 2009/10 season when they are released tomorrow (Friday) at www.thecomet24.co.uk