Despite dragging Waterhouse from the jaws of relegation this season and putting them in a top-six spot for most of the third round, Donovan Duckie continues to face harsh criticism from some Waterhouse fans, who demand nothing less than good performances and victories from their team and players.
However, the national assistant coach said he knew beforehand that it came with the territory, but is pleased to see the team improve and is currently sitting a good position to capture one of the top-six play-off spots..
“When I went there (Waterhouse) initially, I knew that was one of the existing factors, where the pressure is always on us. The fans understand football and they watch the (RSPL) table more than I do and they can tell you that we save relegation with six games to go, as they have fought relegation to the last day for the last two consecutive seasons,” he said.
“Right now, I can’t tell you their expectation but I can tell you what it might be, because of the position that we are in, as it is obvious we are not fighting relegation. We are now challenging for a spot in the top six and they (fans) know what that means,” he reasoned.
“But as we go along, the objectives keep changing, and in terms of the pressure, we are very aware that we are in a community that is driven by the fans. So it is important for us to remain focussed. There are three games to go and the (fans) expectation is getting higher, as there is a real possibility for us to snatch a top-six spot and anything could happen from there. Arnett exemplified what that means last year, when they came sixth and won the title,” he noted.
However, Duckie praised his players for the way they have risen to the challenge, turned their season around and continue to improve game by game.
“The guys have responded well. I think we are improving every time we play. We are not exactly where we want to be, but we are improving and that is what is important for us right now,” Duckie said.
The Drewsland-based club has only lost once in 16 games and have climbed to fourth in the standings, after slipping to ninth just over a week ago.