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Is Riveiro making excuses with his big squad claims at Orlando Pirates?

1:19 PM EST 1/16/23
Jose Riveiro, Orlando Pirates
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has given a number of excuses following his side’s recent struggles and the latest is about his squad’s size.
  • The Pirates coach claimed it is complex having a big squad
  • Riveiro said he is finding difficult to make everyone happy
  • The Buccaneers have lost three of their last five matches

WHAT HAPPENED? Riveiro has now claimed he is finding it hard to manage the big squad that he inherited at Pirates when he joined the club at the start of this season.

This follows on his comments that he does ‘not eat or sleep’ when his side loses while he has on numerous occasions claimed how his team did ‘not deserve to lose’ after past setbacks.

Pirates ended their three-match losing run with Saturday’s 3-1 victory against Golden Arrows but their performance was still not convincing, piling pressure on the besieged coach.

While most coaches are happy to have more numbers, the Spanish tactician sees it differently and has pointed to the 32 players at his disposal as one of the things making his job difficult.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “The number is just a number. I have to adapt myself to work with this number. I’m happy to do it,” Riveiro said as quoted by Sowetan Live.

“It’s complex because we try to make all the players feel the same and we have a limited time to work and share minutes. But it’s part of my role. It’s difficult to select, difficult to determine which one is the number [one].”

“I’ve been working in other clubs in Europe with smaller squads, with squads with more experience, with less. You have to adapt yourself.”

“I’m learning a lot this season with the size of the squad in terms of how to keep everyone involved in the process as much as possible.”

“It demands a lot of effort for me, but especially for the guys because they are the ones who work during the week to play and I am the one saying, ‘No, you’re not going to play this week’. So, to keep that relationship, it’s complex, but this is what we like to do.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pirates look to be out of the title race already with season just halfway done, sitting in fifth position with 22 points, 19 points behind leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, who can extend it to 21 with victory over SuperSport United on Monday.

It is not where Pirates hoped to be when they brought Riveiro on board, having also made a number of key signings, at the start of the 2022-23 campaign.

While he has already won a trophy (the MTN8), it is in the league where fans want him to stamp his authority and he is yet to convince on that front.

WHAT’S NEXT? Pirates will hope to continue their resurgence when they host Stellenbosch in their next PSL match on January 22.