BRETT Davey admits he is feeling the pressure after the Knights’ winless run stretched to 16 games in the derby day horror show at Leeds Carnegie.
Doncaster lost 42-7 at Headingley in a clash with saw Adam Kettle sent off after 22 minutes.
The defeat ensured the Knights head into two weeks of British and Irish Cup action with only a solitary draw to show for their efforts so far.
But director of rugby Davey is convinced his side are close to a turning point that will ignite their season.
He said: “Of course you’re feeling the pressure when you go through a run of results like this but you should be feeling some pressure all the time.
“The thing is, we’re not being blown away in every game and we’ve been unlucky to have not won yet.
“I’ve been pleased with the performances – we defended for our lives at Newcastle and we really should have beaten Cornish Pirates.
“We’re not too far away, we’ve just got to cut out the mistakes and then I think the wins will come.
“Our job now is to make sure the players’ confidence doesn’t take too much of a hit from this run.
“They’re producing the goods in training and I can’t really ask for anything more from them in that department.
“The disappointing thing from the Leeds game was that all their tries came from mistakes from us.
“We gave away too many penalties and you have to be very lucky for that not to come back and bite you.
“Things have to click into place on matchdays but I don’t think we’re far away from that.”
Davey was furious with referee Greg Macdonald over the decision to dismiss Kettle for an apparent dump tackle in the ruck.
Macdonald also flashed yellow cards at Dougie Flockhart for a high tackle and Rhys Buckley for his part in a mass melee which also saw Leeds’ Calum Green sinbinned.
He said: “You can’t take much at all from the Leeds game because we played an hour with 14 men.
“You’re always going to struggle at this level when you’ve got a man less than the opposition.
“I didn’t understand the decision at all.
“You’ve only got to look at the reaction from the players on both teams and there wasn’t one.
“We’ve not been happy with the refereeing going back into last season and we’re in discussions all the time about it so for things like this to keep happening is disappointing.
“For such a young referee to be in charge of a big derby game like that, you’ve got to look at the decision that’s been made there.”
Despite the problems in the Championship, Davey is refusing to take it easy in the B&I Cup which begins this weekend when Melrose visit Castle Park on Saturday (2.30pm).
The Scottish top flight club have won five of their opening seven games and Davey expects them to be out to impress.
He said: “They’re a young team and they’re going to be desperate to win this.
“It’s definitely going to be a tough game but one we’re confident of winning.
“We said before the start of the season that we want a good run in the B&I Cup and we’re confident it’s a competition we can win.
“That’s not changed, it doesn’t matter what’s happening in the league.
“This is the chance for us to get the monkey off our backs and get some momentum going.
“We’ve got to take that chance though.”