LIGHTNING-fast Gold Coast defender Oleg Markov says beating the "demons" in his head has helped him return to the Suns' line-up a more confident player.

Markov played 17 games in 2021 after heading north from Richmond before hamstring troubles cut his season short.

The problems lingered through the pre-season and after being in-and-out of the team early in 2022, Markov has played the past five matches at half-back and on the wing.

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Suns' speedstar subbed out with hamstring injury

Oleg Markov has been subbed off midway through the first term after suffering a hamstring injury

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Speaking to AFL.com.au ahead of playing Collingwood at Metricon Stadium on Saturday night, the 26-year-old said getting his confidence back had not come easily.

"I had a few niggles late last year and it led in to the off-season, the pre-season and I just didn't have any peace of mind between the mind and the body," Markov said.

"I had no confidence, no continuity with the body.

"I just battled my own demons in that area, but I'm glad I've overcome that."

Oleg Markov in action during round 11 in the match between Gold Coast and Hawthorn at TIO Stadium on May 28, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Markov's 22-disposal performance against Port Adelaide last Sunday was arguably his best in Gold Coast colours, generating a match-high 690m gained with his willingness to run-and-bounce and take the game on.

He said the club's high performance department and psychologists had played a major role in aligning his mind with his body.

"Dealing with demons, everyone's got their own, and it's not a bad thing," he said.

"For me it's just having a conversation with them going 'hey, I want a bit of change'…I'm glad they've listened."

Gold Coast's Oleg Markov and Port Adelaide's Jackson Mead in action during round 15 at the Adelaide Oval on June 26, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Markov is the quickest player on the Suns' list, and with Lachie Weller (knee) and Wil Powell (ankle) missing from defence for the rest of the season, he offers a point-of-difference that helps their backline.

He said regardless of who was in the team, he needed to continue feeding off his newfound confidence and play without inhibitions.

Stuart Dew and Oleg Markov after the win over North Melbourne in round 12 on June 4, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"I find that I'm a big over-thinker," he said.

"When I think too much I hesitate and second guess everything.

"I had a focus of doing my homework, doing my study at the club during the week, so that when I got on the field I want to get into a no-thinking zone, that flow-state.

"I just want to play off instinct."