Riveiro's Key Decisions After Four Months In Charge At Pirates

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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 12: Orlando Pirates team during the Carling Black Label Cup, Final match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on November 12, 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - NOVEMBER 12: Orlando Pirates team during the Carling Black Label Cup, Final match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates at FNB Stadium on November 12, 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Orlando Pirates will have extra motivation during the FIFA World Cup break to bounce back strong as they will resume their season against rivals Mamelodi Sundowns.

Pirates were hammered 4-0 by Sundowns in the Carling Black Label Cup final and the Buccaneers head coach Jose Riveiro has explained that they will use the break to improve on all aspects of their game before they meet Sundowns again.

"To play better, whatever it means to play better for us, I mean we need to be better in every department, we need to be better in every scenario," Riveiro said in a press conference.

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"We need to be better when the opponent is pressing high, we need to be better when the opponent is sitting on their side, we need to be better when we cannot dominate the game with the ball.

"When we need to be better when are responsible for the ball, we need to be better in every scenario, we were working four months together this group, I think we're a better team than four months ago."

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Riveiro has already helped the side win the MTN8 but believes that there's still room for improvement.

"Definitely I really think so and the future is gonna be interesting for us as a group, I'm pretty sure. We gonna have decent time now to rest, to do something else with our lives," he went on.

"To spend more time our families, get the energy to be back soon, use the time before we start the competition again on the 31st of December against Sundowns one more time.

"To be be even better than that but so far I'm really happy with the way that we're doing the things, with, like I said, space to improve, there's room to improve and you can be sure we'll do it," he added.

Read: Pirates' Riveiro: I Lost Count Of Players Downs Substituted

Soccer Laduma looks at the key decisions made by Riveiro in his reign so far, particularly after their success in the MTN8.

Introduction of Saleng

After returning from his loan spell at Swallows, Monnapule Saleng was not in the Pirates matchday squad for the first eight matches of the season, seven in the league and one in the MTN8. To the surprise of many, Riveiro handed Saleng his first start in the MTN8 semi-final first leg in a big game against Sundowns and the 24-year old has grabbed the opportunity with both hands after scoring five goals in eight appearances in all competition.

Miguel Timm positioning

Timm has been hailed as the linchpin behind Pirates' resurgence this season, with rival coaches such as Arthur Zwane and Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos, full of praise for his all-round midfield game. The former Marumo Gallants midfielder has fitted well in Riveiro's system, playing both as a destroyer and deep-lying playmaker.

Thabiso Monyane breakthrough

Incredibly, despite showing promise following his promotion to the first team in 2019, Thabiso Monyane did not even make a single appearances for the Sea Robbers last season, as he was not in the coaches' immediate plans. However, Monyane has been a revelation for the Soweto giants at right wing-back this campaign after Riveiro's bold decision to play the academy graduate ahead of the more experienced Bandile Shandu, who actually was one of the standout players at Pirates last term.


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