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Coach says he'll refresh starting XI after a draw against Chippa

Riveiro to ring changes against Djabal

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro and his players will have to dig deep as they prepare for little known Djabal from Comoros in the Champions League.
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro and his players will have to dig deep as they prepare for little known Djabal from Comoros in the Champions League.
Image: Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu

By now it's known that Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro isn't a big fan of squad rotation.

However, the Spaniard has revealed he'll certainly refresh his team when they take on Comorian side Djabal Club d'Iconi in the first leg of the CAF Champions League first preliminary round in that country's capital city, Moroni, on Saturday (2.30pm SA time). Pirates have deployed more or less the same starting XI in all four games they've played so far this season in a space of 11 days.

"We have the opportunity to refresh the squad and to refresh the starting XI for the next game. So, we need to discuss and decide how much we need to do it,'' Riveiro said after Tuesday's 1-all league draw away to Chippa United, where Bandile Shandu's early goal was cancelled out by their on-loan player Goodman Mosele 20 minutes into the second stanza.

The Pirates coach insinuated that the changes he could make on Saturday would depend mainly on the game plan they opt to adopt on the day, adding he had sketchy information about Djabal. "Like I explained many times, we don't believe in [squad] rotation like [a] strategy... we believe in rotation when it's a moment to do rotation, when a player really needs to be rotated,'' Riveiro insisted.

"Sometimes it's not a rotation [but] we just change because we need something different or because we play with a moment of form of our players. We are going to play a different type of game in a different type of environment and there's going to be adjustments for sure. Not much, not much [knowledge about the Comorians].

Reflecting on a rather frustrating evening against Chippa at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Riveiro said: "From my perspective, it was an ugly game, with a lot of interruptions, with so many emotions but not so much football. So yeah, 1-1, one point for each,  they [Chippa] celebrate, we don’t, and we move to the next one."


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