Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has admitted that his side have yet to see the best of Barry Douglas during his time at Ewood Park.
Douglas joined Rovers on a season-long loan from Leeds United on the final day of the summer transfer window, and has since endured something of a mixed time of things with the Lancashire club.
The 31-year-old has so far made nine appearances for Mowbray’s side, providing one assist in that time, and it seems the Blackburn boss feels there is still more to come from the full-back.
Speaking about Douglas ahead of his side’s trip to Stoke City on Saturday afternoon, Mowbray was quoted by the Lancashire Telegraph as saying: “I think there’s improvement in him. We’ve had good chats and he hasn’t played a lot of football.
“He’s here because of his distribution and his ability to play high up the pitch and deliver the right balls and crosses into the box. He’s an assist player, as we build, that final ball into the box has to have that quality into the box and Barry is here to help us do that and compete with Amari’i (Bell) at left back.”
Indeed, it seems Mowbray believes that Douglas has yet to fully adapt to his new environment, but is confident that the one-time Scotland international can do that, as he added: “I know he’s adjusting and adapting, it’s not easy.
“It feels like he’s still finding his feet and settling in, and because he hasn’t played for so long, to come straight into a routine of game after game so quickly, it’s not easy to adjust and be ready for the next one.
“New signings need schooling on how you play, what the expectation is, where he needs to be when we’re attacking down the right, you have to do all the work, all the video analysis with him, and I think it’s fair to say that he’s settling in and the best is yet to be seen of Barry Douglas.”
As things stand, Blackburn currently sit 11th in the Championship table, four points off the play-off places going into their clash with the Potters this weekend.
I do think this is probably a fair assessment from Mowbray.
There have certainly been flashes of the quality that Douglas possess that have been on show since he arrived at Ewood Park, but they have yet to become quite as regular as Rovers might have hoped and expected.
Even so, there is still plenty of time left in the season for Douglas to get up to that level, and he could be a huge asset for Blackburn if and when he does reach that point.
Indeed, given the experience he has of moving from club to club in his career, you would expect that to be something he is able to do sooner rather than later, at which point this piece of recruitment could really become as impressive as everyone at Ewood Park will have hoped.