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Orlando Pirates are in the Premier Soccer League title race despite Mamelodi Sundown gap - Riveiro

8:45 PM GMT+4 12/01/2023
Jose Riveiro Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has affirmed that Bucs have not given up in the Premier Soccer League title race.
  • Riveiro hopeful despite Bucs lying in eighth position
  • Pirates yet to win in three games
  • Riveiro says their focus is on themselves and not any other team

WHAT HAPPENED? The 47-year-old tactician has chosen to remain optimistic despite the Sea Robbers lying 21 points below Mamelodi Sundowns, who are at the top.

Riveiro, acknowledged that the Bucs are going through some tough times, and said it would be difficult for them to catch up.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "We’re going through different moments, bad moments, unfortunately," Riveiro said in a Thursday presser, as quoted by FARPost.

"That’s why the winner, in the end, is the one who manages to do it better in the moments when you’re not at your best.

"At this moment, there is a team [Mamelodi Sundowns] that is getting a big advantage over other competitors.

"It’s going to be very tough for all of us to even get close. Are we giving up? Never? I don’t think it’s only Pirates. It’s a competition. 

"We are competitive people. We will never give up; I don’t think that SuperSport  United or Kaizer Chiefs will give up. It’s a competition. We are going all the way until the end."

AND WHAT IS MORE: Riveiro stressed that Bucs’ main focus should be on the next games and not on which team is in which position.

"The objective right now is to collect the next three points and the next three points and don’t see what’s going on in the rest of the competition," he added.

"I’m 100% honest if I say that I don’t know who is the second, third, or fourth at this moment because I’m trying to focus on the next game and climb the mountain."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates have lost the last three PSL games, and the results are piling up pressure on Riveiro.

Their last loss to Cape Town City meant that they dropped to the eighth position as the gap widens between them and the leading teams.

However, the poor results have come as key players are sidelined by injuries. Richard Ofori, Thabiso Monyane, Olisa Ndah, Goodman Mosele, Siyabonga Mpontshane, and Thembinkosi Lorch have not been available for Riveiro.

WHAT NEXT FOR PIRATES?  The Sea Robbers will host Golden Arrows on January 14.