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Orlando Pirates coach Riveiro confirms fresh injury concerns after Golden Arrows victory

11:02 GMT+3 15/01/2023
Bandile Shandu, Orlando Pirates, January 2023
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has revealed how injuries forced him to change plans during Saturday’s PSL match against Golden Arrows.
  • Pirates finally ended their losing run
  • But more players have been affected by injuries
  • Coach Roveiro comments on the fitness issues

WHAT HAPPENED? The Buccaneers beat Abafana Bes’thende 3-1 at Orlando Stadium to end a three-match losing streak. But at half-time, Riveiro was forced to pull out Bandile Shandu and replaced him with Craig Martin.

The Spaniard also had to withdraw central midfielder Miguel Timm for Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo.

WHAT RIVEIRO SAID: “Difficult circumstances and I have to give a lot of credit to my players,” said Riveiro on SuperSport TV after the match.

“They are still trusting until the end, we had several chances in the second half and the last ten minutes was something crazy and we were lucky today in the last metres finally to take one of those loose balls and put them in the net and we got three points that are going to be important for us.

“Yes, Shandu he was having problems all week, he made a huge effort to be here and play for the team but he couldn't make it more than 45 [minutes].

“And same with Miguel [Timm], he's a fighter but in the first half he was not at his best and we decided not to take a risk. We're lucky because whoever we bring from the bench is a quality player, we changed Miguel but we played [Ndabayithethwa] Ndlondlo.

“We changed Shandu, we have [Craig] Martin so all of them are very involved, they are ready, they are training well and are performing as they did in the second half.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Injuries to Shandu and Thabiso Monyane, who missed Pirates’ last two games, might provide problems at right-back for Riveiro in their upcoming matches if the duo takes time to recover. That would force the coach to field attacker Martin as a wing-back.

In central midfield, Timm has been outstanding although Ndlondlo, Ben Motshwari and Thabang Monare could step in. Already Pirates have been missing the services of goalkeeper Richard Ofori, defender Olisa Ndah and Thembinkosi Lorch due to injuries.

STORY IN THREE PICTURES:

WHAT’S NEXT FOR PIRATES? The Buccaneers would now want to build on their win over Arrows when they host struggling Stellenbosch next Sunday.