Barry Douglas on Leeds United's 'rigorous' regime and his decision to rejoin Lech Poznan
Barry Douglas is hoping a move back to Poland can help give him a new lease of life following an injury-plagued spell with Leeds United.
The left-back spent three years on the books with the Whites but was hampered by time in the treatment room which cost him a regular starting spot under head coach Marcelo Bielsa.
He spent last season on loan with Blackburn Rovers in the Championship in a bid to regain fitness and find regular game time having played a largely squad role in United's 2019/20 promotion-winning term.
The 31-year-old's contract expired at Elland Road this summer and he has now opted to make the switch back to Poland with Lech Poznan for a second spell at the club.
Douglas helped his current side lift the Ekstraklasa title (Poland's top division) during his initial two-and-a-half-year stay which began back in 2013.
The Scot's difficult time with injuries, he hopes, is now behind him after what he described as a 'rigorous regime' in West Yorkshire.
“The hunger and motivation within me is still there. I know I can still produce," he told the Daily Record.
“I just needed the opportunity to put those kinds of demands on myself again. That’s why I wanted to move on from England again.
“I kind of felt comfortable in the UK – and I don’t want that. I want to challenge for honours again and to get into that winning habit again because it’s so contagious.
“I’d love to try and help the team here win something. But I just want to play injury free.
“At Leeds, I kept breaking down, maybe because of the rigorous regime there. But I got over a mental hurdle last year [at Blackburn] by playing in every game when I was available to play.
"Physically, I feel good and ready for this.”
Asked about his decision to rejoin Lech Poznan, he said: "I want to play every week and feel relied on. I did feel as if I’d lost that a little bit. That’s why I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself abroad again.
“This seemed like the perfect move, in that sense. And, listen, I’ve always had belief in my ability. Even last season at Blackburn, if you analyse it, all the outputs were there.
“I was still one of the highest chance creators for a full-back in the league. I had a successful season but the narrative wasn’t as good purely because the team didn’t do so well.
"One of my strongest characteristics is my mentality. I do a lot of work on that away from football that people don’t see.
“It allows me to be the person I am and get over the hurdles that I’ve faced. Coming abroad again isn’t that daunting. It’s no different from going to Blackburn Rovers or Leeds United "