Saturday’s loss at Huddersfield Town was the first time in 17 Barnsley league games across more than a year that the 26-year-old Australian midfielder had been on the losing side.
His previous loss was in October last year at Shrewsbury Town when he was injured early on and then missed two months before returning then breaking his leg at Doncaster Rovers in March. He was out for seven months then, after the sacking of Daniel Stendel, played under caretaker Adam Murray in the draws with Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion before Saturday’s loss at Huddersfield Town.
Dougall told the Chronicle: “It was definitely a different feeling coming off the pitch after a loss. Someone told me about that stat and it’s a nice one but it doesn’t really help our situation.”
Last-placed Barnsley are currently four points adrift of safety and on a 13-match winless run, ahead of tonight’s home game with Bristol City.
“It doesn’t have an impact on us. There are a lot of games to play so the fact we’re four points adrift is not that important. We have our own internal targets that we have to hit and we know we will do well if we hit them. It won’t be an overnight fix, it will be a grind all season. We have had some very encouraging performances.
"Huddersfield was a step in the wrong direction but all the boys feel positive that we can stay in this league. We have broken down all the games and tried to address the mistakes. There are a lot of habits we are trying to change and that can’t just happen tomorrow.”
Dougall, who previously played in the Dutch top flight, says he feels good at the Championship level. He said: “It’s quite similar to the Eredivisie but it’s more physical here. n the Dutch league, the players are all good, as you see with sides like Ajax.
“Three games in a week was tough on the body but I will be fine for the next game. I got tired towards the end at West Brom but I played 90 minutes in the other games and I felt good. Going from nothing to three games in a week would be tough for anyone but I do feel fit. A lot of the boys found it hard.”
Dougall believes he could have played earlier under Stendel. He said: “You think ‘why can’t I play?’ His thought process was to hold me back and maybe that’s what the sport scientists thought as well. It’s all in the past now and we have to look forward.”
Dougall is yet to make his international debut for Australia, having played for the under 23s. He was called up twice last season but did not make an appearance. The Socceroos are due to play Jordan in a World Cup qualifier on November 14.
He said: “You’re always hoping to get called up. Playing in the Championship will definitely help me because it’s a massive step up from League One and I got in there a couple of times last season. I would like to think I would be in there but nothing is guaranteed.”
Dougall admits there have been some comments towards him about England’s Rugby World Cup win over Australia. “It’s been tough, especially after the Cricket World Cup. But a lot of the boys aren’t interested in rugby and I think they are scared to make fun of me – especially after the Ashes.”