Buckley famously stated last season that he couldn’t see himself remaining Collingwood coach if the club did not make finals in 2017, in what would be the fourth consecutive season the Pies have missed the eight.
Speaking on the SEN Breakfast program, Watson said he appreciated Buckley’s honestly, but his comments put himself in a difficult position.
“I don’t think they will make the eight,” the former St. Kilda coach said on SEN.
“(A new Pies coach) may well be the case.
“I think they’re up against it making the finals this year. I think they can improve from where they were last year and still miss the finals this year.”
This season will be Buckley’s sixth season in charge of the Pies and Watson said that will work against him.
“I think for any coach that has been there six years, it is an accumulation of your results over that period of time,” he said.
“If you’re a first up coach or a second-year coach and you end up talking about being a great contender and just missing out, you may be given more of a reprieve than someone who has been there for six years.”
Fellow host Garry Lyon agreed with Watson’s comments, saying Buckley has put a lot of pressure on himself to make finals.
“We love honesty from everyone in the footy sense: coaches, players. That comment now is going to be what he is measured by though,” Lyon said.
“The game hasn’t even started yet and we are talking about it, there are others talking about it…That is backing yourself into a corner.
“There’s too much focus on the end result when there is 30 weeks in the lead-up to that…We judge him by whether they play finals or not.
“Nathan Buckley may have his very best year as an AFL coach this year and still miss the finals and then it would be wrong if Collingwood were to move him on.”