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Riveiro bows to Sundowns juggernaut

‘But sooner rather than later, it’s going to change’

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro
Image: Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has sounded like he has already thrown in the towel on the fight for the league race, saying it is not only their responsibility to stop perennial league champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Sundowns, who have historically won all their 10 opening league games so far, lead Orlando Pirates by 11 points, despite having played two games fewer than them. Pirates’ next league game is against TS Galaxy at Orlando Stadium on Saturday night (8pm).

Riveiro has suggested it is unfair to put the burden of stopping Sundowns, who are on course to clinch their seventh league title on the trot, solely on them as they are 14 more teams in the DStv Premiership. The Spaniard also sounded like someone who has given up on the title, asserting the Brazilians’ glory days will one day come to an end.

“If you talk about the team who’s leading the log [Sundowns], [they have] 30 points in 10 games, that’s something exceptional and it’s something that’s not only our responsibility to stop because we only face them two times in the league and the league is 30 games,” Riveiro said during Bucs’ media open-day at Rand Stadium yesterday.

“If you finish the season competing with the opponent that wins every game, there’s nothing you can do more than congratulating them and try again next time, but sooner rather than later, it’s going to change.”

The Pirates coach also insisted that he did not feel any pressure that Sundowns were already 11 points ahead of them, saying they trusted the processes they were going through as a side.

“Pressure? Obviously we want to be at the top in every competition, that’s our aim. I do feel the pressure when I don’t know what I am doing in my life. If I know what I am doing, I don’t feel any pressure and that’s what we try as a team, not only me as a coach, I am talking as a group,” Riveiro stated.

“We know what we are doing and we know what we are trying to achieve, so there’s no pressure. We try to be our best version everyday and we manage to do it in some periods.”

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