Barry Douglas sets sights on larger role with Leeds United as Premier League kick-off looms

The Whites will begin the new Premier League campaign at Liverpool on September 12.
Leeds United defender Barry Douglas in action against Arsenal in the FA Cup. (Getty)Leeds United defender Barry Douglas in action against Arsenal in the FA Cup. (Getty)
Leeds United defender Barry Douglas in action against Arsenal in the FA Cup. (Getty)

Barry Douglas has set his sights on having a larger role at Leeds United this season ahead of the club's first Premier League appearance in 16 years.

The 30-year-old made just six starts and nine substitute appearances in the league last term as Marcelo Bielsa's side lifted the Championship trophy and earned promotion to the top flight.

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A number of injury setbacks combined with the form of Stuart Dallas saw Douglas' opportunities limited in LS11.

The left-back, though, was called upon in the run-in as he put in a number of strong performances to help United over the line late in the campaign.

The Scot is now aiming to have a bigger impact on the first-team at Elland Road as United continue their pre-season preparations ahead of the big kick-off on September 12.

"The manager makes the decisions at the end of the day," Douglas said over his lack of game time.

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"I need to live by that. It can be frustrating at times but it's a team game and it's not all about me.

"I just need to be ready when I get the opportunity and I think I showed I was ready [last season] and helped the team when I could.

"It was nice to contribute but ultimately I want to play more like every player, so it's going to be challenging ahead for everyone to be on their toes and be at their best."

Asked about whether Leeds could continue their momentum into the new campaign after a strong season, he said: "We need to take the positives and confidence that we took from the end of last season.

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"Ultimately that is gone and in the past now though - it's finished.

"This is a new campaign, a new project and a new challenge that lies ahead. It's completely different.

"We'll need to prepare fully and focus to be ready for it. We know how difficult it is going to be."

Bielsa's outfit have been handed the toughest of tasks on the opening day as they travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool.

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Douglas, though, admits that there is nothing other than excitement in the United camp ahead of the clash with the reigning Premier League champions.

"What a game to start against the champions of last year," he added.

"There's no better way to test ourselves than against the very best. It's probably a good time to get them at Anfield before they get fully going, hopefully anyway.

"We're just excited and really looking forward to competing and not just being a part of it. We're going to enjoy the experience as well."