Tony Watt was the hero of Lierse yesterday after scoring twice in the 3-0 derby win over Mechelen.
After four straight defeats in the league the pressure was on coach Stanley Menzo with Lierse dropping into the relegation zone.
Menzo had gone public in his criticism of Watt with some suggestions that he wouldn’t play again for the club.
Despite that the 19-year-old remains popular with his team-mates and supporters with yesterday’s double in the traditional St. Stephens Day derby adding to his popularity among the fans.
With the game still goal-less Watt replaced Bulgarian striker Kostadin Hazurov in the 69th minute and opened the scoring six minutes later with a great bullying centre-forward strike barging his way past a defender then sending a powerful shot past Mechelen keeper Tomislav Pacovski.
Rachid Bourabia doubled the lead in the 88th minute with Watt completing the scoring in stoppage time with a confident chip over the Mechelen keeper after running through on goal from the halfway line.
Watt’s first goal 1 minute 40 seconds
“I was told before the match how important winning the derby was for the supporters,” the loan striker admitted. “The before the match they mentioned the big derbies on the screen, they showed Manchester United v Manchester City followed by Celtic against Rangers.
“That was the biggest derby in the world, if they compare this match to Celtic v Rangers I know how much it means to the people here.
“When you are a substitute you visualise that you are going to go on and score, some of my team-mates told me that I’d come on and score twice!
“It was great to do that. The fans here have been great to me over the last four months, they’ve welcomed me from the start, I’ve not heard any supporter say anything bad about me.
“I’ll go home to my family in Scotland now for a few days happy with my performance today.”