Riveiro relaxed as Bucs face Royal without suspended trio

Coach for other to stand in place of Chaine, Hotto, Timm

Sihle Ndebele Journalist
Tshegofatso Mabasa.
Tshegofatso Mabasa.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has implied that they won't miss the suspended trio of goalkeeper Sipho Chaine, utility left-winger Deon Hotto and midfield workhorse Miguel Timm when they take on Royal AM at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday (3pm).

Chaine, Hotto and Timm all accumulated their fourth yellow cards in the Buccaneers' 1-0 league win over AmaZulu at Orlando Stadium last Saturday. Melusi Buthulezi is likely to start in Chaine's absence after making the bench against Usuthu. Skipper Innocent Maela and Philip Ndlondlo are odds-on to respectively replace Hotto and Timm in the starting XI, after also taking their slots in the second stanza against AmaZulu.

"No, no again, I am not thinking too much about players who'll be missing. We have 38 players in the squad. Eighty percent are available to play in a good momentum, so if we get yellow, we get yellow, and if it's the fourth one, it's the fourth one; we go to the next game because we have many players ready to go and everyone is going to be needed at this stage of the season,'' Riveiro stated.

The Spaniard also heaped praises on their league's leading scorer Tshegofatso Mabasa for the role he plays in their overall structure. Riveiro also highlighted that Mabasa, who has 11 league goals, is also working tirelessly because he knows other strikers want to oust him from the starting XI.

"He [Mabasa] is one more piece in our structure, an important one right now. I am happy when the players, especially the forwards, are delivering goals.

"I am happier when they take responsibility in the last metres. He's constantly offering us all the options and possibilities for the players around him... for our No 10s. He helps us to be aggressive when we press because he's our first defender of the team when we don't have the ball,'' Riveiro explained.

"He's also doing well because the ones who are behind him, the ones who are not playing recently, are training very well and they are putting pressure and want to play as well. In the end, only one [striker] can play but this is a team and everybody is working to make it possible.''

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