18th March 2023
This is the level of importance the Spanish-born tactician has attached to their remaining eight league games and cup quarterfinal against Dondol Stars as he aims to take Pirates back to the CAF Champions League for the first time in three years.
With just five points separating them from second-placed SuperSport United ahead of tonight’s league game at Orlando Stadium, Riveiro says this is the ideal opportunity for them to close the gap.
"We will play finals until the end, in the league [and] in the Nedbank, every game will be crucial for all of us – those who are playing [to avoid] relegation, the ones playing for the top positions and for the possibility to play in Africa next season," said Riveiro.
"It goes without saying that for Pirates, it's very important to find ourselves in that position at the end of the season, there are more teams fighting for the same objective with us at the moment, and SuperSport is the one with more [of an] advantage.
"So, as I said, it's an opportunity to get three points at the same time that our immediate opponents are not getting three points."
This is also the first time Bafana Bafana striker Zakhele Lepasa will come up against his parent club and he’ll be eager to prove a point, but Bucs skipper Innocent Maela is adamant that neutralising SuperSport as a team is the key.
"Firstly, we don't know who they're going to play, we will see on matchday before kick-off. But, to answer the question, we played with Zakes and we know him very well, but I don't think it will make such a big difference because he's playing with new teammates," said Maela.
"So, ours is to prepare for them collectively so that we make sure we utilise our strengths and stop theirs against us. So, ja, we're looking forward to seeing him – one of our own, but the focus is preparing the team to make sure we get the three points."