Comment: Former Dundee United defender Barry Douglas deserves Scotland chance after travelling long road back from Rugby Park

Barry Douglas enjoying life at Wolves.

The second half was only two minutes old when Barry Douglas picked the ball up a couple of yards from the corner flag at Rugby Park.

Instead of booting it into the stand or upfield, the Dundee United left-back took leave of his senses.

Douglas went on a crazy, mazy run that took him into his own six-yard box and right across the face of United’s goal.

He waved his hands at poor goalkeeper Rado Cierzniak in a desperate plea for him to come to his aid but instead Douglas’s folly was penalised by Kilmarnock player Rory McKenzie, who nipped in for a gift of a goal from just a yard out.

It was, to put it politely, a piece of pure daftness from the defender and his action was labelled a “joke” by Tannadice boss Peter Houston after that match on August 25, 2012, which finished 3-1 to the home team.

To pile on the misery United, who had been Premiership leaders before the match, were toppled off the top as a result.

It wasn’t being melodramatic to wonder, as you watched through your fingers from the Press box, if Douglas would ever recover from that.

Not only did the now 28-year-old quickly regain his composure– he was man-of-the-match when Killie visited Tannadice that November – but he went on to build a career which is the envy of many a Scottish player.

He has now been named in Alex McLeish’s first squad as the manager starts his second spell in charge of Scotland.

Douglas has certainly done it the hard way.

Barry Douglas in action for United.

He joined United from Queen’s Park in the summer of 2010, just months after Houston’s team had won the Scottish Cup.

He made 75 appearances for the Tangerines before heading to Poland in 2013 to play for Lech Poznan.

It was a brave move into unknown territory and he made another one of those in January 2016 when he joined Turkish top-flight club Konyaspor, making his debut against Galatasaray.

Eighteen months later and Douglas got arguably his biggest break of all when he arrived at Molineux to sign for Wolves.

He hasn’t looked back.

He has had the self-confidence to recover  from the low of that Rugby Park embarrassment and prosper as a player.

Self-confidence and self-belief helped him accept and meet challenges on foreign soil before earning a move to a club with the size and stature of Wolves.

It is ironic that he has been given the international nod after a terrible result – Wanderers lost 4-1 to Midlands rivals Aston Villa on Saturday – but they still sit pretty at the top of the Skybet Championship.

This season threatens to be the best yet for the likeable Glaswegian and you can bet Douglas will meet the challenge of the English Premier League head on if Wolves get there.

He has also earned his chance in dark blue for this month’s friendlies against Costa Rica (23rd) and Hungary (27th), even though the Scots are extremely well off in that area of the park thanks to Liverpool’s Andy Robertson, another ex-United man, and Celtic’s Kieran Tierney.

After all, Douglas obviously relishes a challenge.