Marcelo Bielsa: Barry Douglas is an impeccable professional

Marcelo Bielsa: Barry Douglas is an impeccable professional

Head coach pays tribute to defender.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has paid tribute to outgoing defender Barry Douglas.

The full-back completed a season-long loan move to Blackburn Rovers on Friday, becoming the first permanent member of the club’s promotion winning team last season to leave the club.

Bielsa explained the tough decision to allow Douglas to depart the club and was full of praise for the Scotland international for his efforts during his time with the Whites.

“I have never kept a player solely to make up the numbers for training,” said Bielsa.

“In the case of the young players, Bryce Hosannah, Ryan Edmondson, Mateusz Bogusz, Robbie Gotts and Jordan Stevens, they all left on loan because their progression with the Under-23s has been sufficient and I didn’t see them having clear options to participate with the first team.

“In the case of Douglas it’s different, it makes me very sad he has left our team because during the two years he has been with us he has made a significant contribution.

“He’s an impeccable professional and a very respected member within the team.

“In the position of left-back I opted for Stuart Dallas, Ezgjan Alioski and Leif Davis ahead of Douglas and they’re decisions I have to make and for me, they have been very difficult.

“Douglas deserved to try and fight at Leeds, he gave his all to achieve this.

“In this case I wasn’t able to help him enough for him to consolidate himself within our team.

“He’s a player who has given many, many efforts to give the correct responses and I regret a little bit he was not able to triumph with us.

“Finally, it was decided between the club, myself and Douglas that he should leave for Blackburn Rovers.

“I wish him all the best because he really deserves it, he’s a player who is full of virtues.

“He has done some very important things for us, I can’t forget he played a game for us against Millwall when he had a knee injury for half an hour.

“That’s not very common, he thought about the team before himself, he put at risk his knee, which is a very complicated place for a player to get injured.

“To summarise, I regret I wasn’t able to make him triumph with us.”