Heavy are the expectations of Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro ahead of Nedbank Cup clash

Johannesburg – Jose Riveiro will lead Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup with the same goal of winning the competition after already securing the MTN8.

After winning the first trophy of the season, expectations were on Pirates to challenge for the rest of the competitions –  the league and Nedbank Cup.

But Pirates have blown hot and cold in the league and now their only realistic target is the No 2 spot as they trail log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns by 27 points.

Pirates’ pursuit for that coveted second position on the log, which guarantees automatic qualification for the CAF Champions League, will be on hold this weekend though.

They’ll turn their focus to the Nedbank Cup – where victory will guarantee them a spot in the Confederation Cup.

With those guarantees, a trophy to appease “the Ghost” and a cheque of R7-million up for grabs, Riveiro is targeting success – yet again.

“It’s a different competition but same responsibility,” he said. “Competitions like these give all the 32 teams a chance to dream of a beautiful night.”

Already, amateur side Dondol Stars have had their beautiful night in the Nedbank Cup this term, beating SuperSport United on Wednesday.

Dondol’s surprise 2-1 win away sent a strong message to the elite teams that they shouldn’t underestimate the minnows if they are going to go all the way.

Riveiro has taken heed of that result, especially considering they’ll visit second tier side All Stars at Wits Stadium on Saturday.

“We are facing the tournament with a lot of respect for our opponent. Our objective is to play as much as possible in the competition,” Riveiro explained.

“We want to hopefully find ourselves in the final. But we have to go step-by-step. And the first step is to deal with a difficult team in All Stars on Saturday.

“They are well organised and have some interesting players. We know the difficulty of the environment, but we are really preparing ourselves hard.”

The Bucs haven’t only been preparing hard at training, but All Stars coach Sinethemba Badela said Pirates sent a team to watch their games.

“It’s a nice competition. I have to think about how my colleagues in the lower divisions think and feel about the tournament and possibilities,” Riveiro said.

“We cannot joke around about what’s coming. We know how difficult it will be if we are not at our level. But if we are, we’ll get closer to where we want.”

ALSO READ: Returning John Maduka says he has nothing to prove ahead of Royal AM’s Nedbank Cup last 32 clash

Fresh from losing to Sundowns last weekend, despite a gallant performance, Pirates’ strikers’ coach Scott Chickelday left the club.

His departure was shocking because he had been in the job barely a month, while the Buccaneers scored nine goals in four matches.

SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt defends approach after Nedbank Cup humiliation

Riveiro didn’t explain Chickelday’s departure, instead he said they want to continue getting the best out of their players after learning from the latter.

“We’ll try to continue with what we learnt from Scott and implement them in our group. Who knows, maybe, Scott or someone else will join us,” he said.


IOL Sport

Author: editor

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