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Win or lose, we remain in the race, says Riveiro

Facing Sundowns an exciting challenge, says Pirates coach

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says they have to prepare for the team's heavy schedule
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says they have to prepare for the team's heavy schedule
Image: gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has insisted that whatever happens in their titanic clash against reigning league champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, at Orlando Stadium on Wednesday night wont have any bearing on Bucs title credentials.

Its early to say that when we win, we are still in the race or if we draw, we are not in the race any more, Riveiro said on Monday at a press conference held at Rand Stadium, their training base, on Monday.

Even so, Riveiro stressed the importance of winning, especially because they are playing at home and they are coming from a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Botswana side Jwaneng Galaxy in the first leg of the CAF Champions League second preliminary round on Sunday. This clash kicks off at 7.30pm.

It is important [to win] because its three points [at stake] and we are playing at home. We dont want to drop any points, especially at home. We want to go back on the winning track as soon as possible. We have the opportunity just after not getting the result we were looking for yesterday [on Sunday in Botswana], Riveiro said.

Riveiro views facing perennial league kings Sundowns as an exciting challenge, implying Sundowns success gives them extra encouragement ahead of this tie.  Riveiro also suggested that Sundowns themselves relish coming to Orlando.

Its nice to have an opportunity to play against Sundowns because it’s a challenge, theres extra motivation. But we are Orlando Pirates and I think for the opponent it’s also something to play against us, to come to Orlando and play that game, he said. 

Against Jwaneng, Pirates rested a number of their key players such as Zakhele Lepasa, Monnapule Saleng and Patrick Maswanganyi among others. Still, Riveiro has insisted that this wasnt a squad rotation. 

After the [recent Fifa] break, we looked at the schedule, knowing that we must play from Sunday to Sunday... three very important games for us in three different competitions, where we want to perform at our best, that's our concern, thats all,Riveiro said.

Don’t talk about rotations because its not a rotation, we try to go to games with guarantees that we can compete as good as possible. In Botswana we didnt get the result that we wanted obviously, but its only the first half of the game.


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