Riveiro gives up on league title

Bucs coach focuses on defending Cup instead

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Pirates coach Jośe Riveiro.
Pirates coach Jośe Riveiro.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has once again cast doubt on their chances of ever challenging Mamelodi Sundowns for the league title, describing them as "point machine'' as he admitted that, for that matter, winning the Nedbank Cup was crucial for them. 

Pirates hope to retain the Nedbank Cup but before thinking too far ahead, they must beat AmaZulu in the quarterfinals at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday (6pm).

"We can still talk about consistency [of Pirates] until the end of our lives but that's not the only thing to talk about. We see the top of the log...you are competing against a point machine right now [referring to Sundowns], a team that didn't lose even one game in the last 40-something games,'' Riveiro said at a Nedbank Cup media conference in Sandton yesterday.

"You want to go to the past, we can to go to the previous season also [where] we got 54 points. Usually, you win the title in SA with 60, right? Probably you [media] know better than myself, so we got 54 but again we are competing with a point machine...they don't lose.

"Probably we are going to pass that number [54] this season. You can analyse the reasons why [Sundowns hardly lose], it's part of your business...we are trying but it's difficult to get close for many, many different reasons but we are getting there."

As he admitted defeat in the league, Riveiro underlined the importance of lifting the Nedbank Cup. Pirates have already won the MTN8 this season, meaning retaining the Nedbank Cup would see them win two cups like last season, where they won both these trophies.

Riveiro has forever refused to reveal his reasons for saying it's difficult for them to compete with Sundowns.

"[Winning the Nedbank Cup] is very important because it is a South African cup. The Nedbank Cup is an important trophy and every team who participates in the competition wants to go to the final at least.

"This cup is very important to everyone at the club...the players, the coaching staff. We are all focused on this tournament and we will try again [to retain it]."


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