Orlando Pirates evolution clear to coach Jose Riveiro

Orlando Pirates evolution clear to coach Jose Riveiro

In drawing comparisons between the two cup finals Orlando Pirates played against Mamelodi Sundowns this season, coach Jose Riveiro has argued the progression of the team is crystal clear.

The Buccaneers won both the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup fixtures that were seven months apart, effectively handing them four major trophies in two years. 

Riveiro explained why there’s an evolution at the club. 

"The final we played against Sundowns earlier in the season, we played Shandu, Xoki, Sibisi, Hotto, Miguel [Timm], Monare, Lepasa, Kermit [Erasmus], Saleng, and Tito [Maswanganyi]," noted Riveiro.

"Just have a look at our starting XI today – and that's only how long? Seven month in between the two finals, or six? That was one of the processes we went through during the season.

"There was also a lot of changes, integration of young players into the team, different dynamics, some school fees during the process as well.

"But I think we're getting there. I have the feeling and, trust me, it's not because now I have this [Nedbank Cup medal] in my hand, but we are getting there."

Riveiro added that defeating Sundowns in Mbombela was evidence that Pirates were not too far off the DStv Premiership champions despite the 23-point gap between the two sides. 

"I learnt the level that my team can have on the day, and during the week, when we face these types of games, and I can say that we are not that far [behind]," he added.

"I don't think the difference between these two teams is 23 points – it is, that's the reality [from the log], but we can manage to compete and it's in our hands to keep this level of competitiveness week-in and week-out, that's the main thing we need to improve."

READ: Maela on Orlando Pirates’ fairytale run under Jose Riveiro