Jose Riveiro: I feel lucky to have players of Orlando Pirates' quality

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DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 17: Jose Riveiro, head coach of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership match between Royal AM and Orlando Pirates at Moses Mabhida Stadium on August 17, 2022 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 17: Jose Riveiro, head coach of Orlando Pirates during the DStv Premiership match between Royal AM and Orlando Pirates at Moses Mabhida Stadium on August 17, 2022 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

Orlando Pirates head coach José Riveiro has revealed why he feels "lucky" to be at the club after enjoying a strong start to the 2022/23 DStv Premiership campaign.

Having replaced the co-coaching duo of Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids at the start of the season, Spanish tactician José Riveiro has made an immediate impact with Orlando Pirates where he has guided the club to second position on the league table after eight matches played.

The Buccaneers are just two points behind league leaders and reigning champions Mamelodi Sundowns after winning four and drawing two matches thus far, including an opening day win over Soweto rivals Swallows FC.

"I have said it many times, the level of the players is good and it was a positive surprise for me. The technical level of the squad is amazing," Riveiro revealed during his post-match press conference after Pirates' 2-0 win over TS Galaxy last Saturday.

"In general, in the league, and in terms of individual technique, the level is super high. That makes everything much easier.

"We play with the (ball at our feet) feet and it's not easy to play this football, so when you have quality and the capacity to execute what we ask, everything is much easier. In the end, we play the football that the players allow us to play, not the football I 'want' to play.

"If they don't have the capacity, then we were not going to make it. I'm a lucky coach to have these type of players because I have the chance to enjoy my profession every morning with them, and not only in the competitions, which is something very nice.

"It was not difficult – or at least that is what I like to think – for the players to adapt to our ideas because, like I said, we tried to create an environment where they feel comfortable and motivated to train and play football. They like to play so we try to play almost every day. That's maybe the key."

Pirates will enjoy a period of rest and recovery in the coming weeks and will only return to competitive action following the September international break when they play host to Sundowns in the first leg of their MTN8 semi-final clash.