Riveiro feels Bucs' depth can nudge Stellies

Pirates look to Dlamini, Ndlondo as they visit City

30 April 2024 - 07:30
By Neville Khoza
Phillip Ndlondlo could return to Pirates’ starting XI in the place
of the suspended Makhehlene Makhaula.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Phillip Ndlondlo could return to Pirates’ starting XI in the place of the suspended Makhehlene Makhaula.

With the race for second spot in the DStv Premiership heating up, Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro insists they are not concerned by what Stellenbosch are doing as they need to focus on winning their remaining matches.

The Buccaneers maintained the third-place position following their 4-0 win over Royal AM at Harry Gwala Stadium on Sunday in response to the 5-0 victory from Stellenbosch, who beat Polokwane City on Saturday.

Riveiro's charges are three points behind Stellies in a hot race for the CAF Champions League spot, with five rounds of fixtures left for both teams.

As Pirates visit Cape Town City at Cape Town Stadium tomorrow (3pm), their Spaniard coach says focus is on collecting all three points.

"Our focus is on ourselves. We must win every remaining game until the end," Riveiro told the media.

"We can't control what our opponents do. They (Stellenbosch) have their matches to play. We try to concentrate on what we can control. Our performance and our next opponents, now we travel to Cape Town to face City on Wednesday and it is going to be key in collecting three points again because the top of the table is very tight."

Pirates will have to do without their playmaker Patrick Maswanganyi and Makhehleni Makhaula tomorrow after both got their fourth bookings against Royal on Sunday. That could mean both Kabelo Dlamini and Phillip Ndlondlo are in contention for a starting berth in Cape Town tomorrow.

Riveiro, whose side has scored 16 goals in four matches, including the 7-1 thumping of Golden Arrows and 4-2 victory over AmaZulu all this month, feels they have enough quality in their squad to help them against the Citizens.

"We have a lot of talent in the team... the front four is not exceptional, obviously. Right now, we are in the moment where the ball is getting into the net," he said.

"Early in the season, I think we played better games than today [Sunday] and we didn't manage to score a single goal. Right now, we are much more confident when we are in the last third.

"But in the end, it is about the team. It is about the structure and the football that we believe in and when we are in that structure, our talent can shine like we did in the second half."

 

Fixtures

Today: Bay v AmaZulu, King Zwelithini (7.30pm)

Tomorrow: Chippa v Swallows, Buffalo City (3pm); CPT City v Pirates, Cape Town (3pm); Stellenbosch v Arrows, Danie Craven (5.30pm); Royal v SuperSport, Harry Gwala (7.30pm)

Thursday: Chiefs v Sundowns, FNB (7.30pm)

Friday: Sekhukhune v Galaxy, Peter Mokaba (7.30pm)

Nedbank Cup semifinals

Saturday: Chippa v Pirates, Nelson Mandela Bay (3pm)

Sunday: Stellenbosch v Sundowns, Danie Craven (3pm)