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Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro humbled by Irvin Khoza’s praises

Sithembiso Dindi Sports Reporter
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro during the club's media open day at Rand Stadium on Monday.
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro during the club's media open day at Rand Stadium on Monday.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has credited his immediate success at the Soweto giants to the unconditional support of his club chair, Irvin Khoza.

Riveiro, who won a cup double in his maiden season in South Africa and guided the Buccaneers back to the Caf Champions League as DStv Premiership runners-up, was showered with praise from Khoza this month for the sterling work he is doing at Pirates.

Khoza lauded the Spanish coach for being a person of few words but who allows the results of his work do the talking.

Pirates face defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns in a Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday evening (7.30pm).

“I appreciate every single word coming from our chair,” said Riveiro, who steered Bucs to the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup titles last season.

“If there’s something I felt from the first minute in my time here at Pirates, it is the unconditional support to what we are doing, myself and the technical staff, with the players.

“I take it like what it is, and I appreciate that support. It’s nice to hear [Khoza’s praises].”

Riveiro is determined to make a stronger push for the Premiership title than last campaign, where Bucs were 16 points behind Sundowns, and perhaps even bring the Soweto giants their first league success since 2012.

The coach is on the verge of qualifying Bucs for their third cup final in his tenure in the MTN8. Pirates hold a 2-1 advantage in their semifinal tie against Stellenbosch FC going into the home leg at Orlando Stadium on September 24. 

Riveiro will need his men to put in a stronger performance in the second leg of their Caf Champions League second preliminary round tie to stay in the competitions. Bucs suffered a 1-0 first-leg defeat to Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana in Gaborone on Sunday.

The coach fielded a largely changed team, leaving most of his first-choice starters at home.

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