News Matches

'Orlando Pirates have big and talented squad, fixture congestion not an excuse' – Riveiro

20:14 GMT+3 02/01/2023
Jose Riveiro Orlando Pirates.
Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has stated he has no issue with congested fixtures because he has depth in his squad.
  • Riveiro not worried by congested January
  • Bucs without key injured players
  • Aiming to recover after losing to Sundowns

WHAT HAPPENED? The Sea Robbers have four matches lined up in January, but the Portuguese tactician believes he has enough depth to navigate the month.

After going down to Mamelodi Sundowns, the Buccaneers will face Town City on January 7 before more matches against Golden Arrows, Stellenbosch, and Marumo Gallants.

WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "The schedule is what it is, there’s nothing we can do more than plan as well as possible. It’s part of our job," Riveiro said, as quoted by SABC Sport.

"I think January is not that bad in terms of games like it was at the beginning of the season. It will give us the opportunity to train more and train better, and that’s crucial for us to have days to prepare ourselves. 

"If we do well in that department, we will definitely look better in the future for sure. We are busy trying to organise the schedule as well as possible. We have a big and talented squad. It [number of matches] is not going to be an issue or an excuse." 

AND WHAT IS MORE: Apart from the fixture congestion, injuries are another issue the coach has to deal with.

But Riveiro is not worried about the injured players because he has confidence in the available ones.

"I’m so happy with the players that I have, who are available to play," he said, as quoted elsewhere by FARPost.

"Again, there’s going to be competition in the starting line-up. So, let’s see who’s playing next time, the ones who played against Sundowns did a fantastic job.

"Obviously, we didn’t get the results we were looking for. But we cannot only analyze results from our side."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Wing-back Tebogo Tlolane could be back in training in mid-January after a medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear sidelined him.

Nigerian defender Olisa Ndah is likely to be ruled out until the end of the month, while Richard Ofori is still not available after undergoing knee surgery.

Thembinkosi Lorch, who was injured during their match against SuperSport United in August, is on track to return for the second half of the season.

WHAT NEXT FOR RIVEIRO? Riveiro's main hope is to see his charges dust themselves off after the loss against Sundowns and pick up positive results in the upcoming games.