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Orlando Pirates coach Riveiro's comments should be a wake-up call

8:13 PM WAT 04/10/2022
Jose Riveiro Orlando Pirates
The Buccaneers failed to build momentum on what had been a good performance during Saturday's 0-0 draw with Mamelodi Sundowns in the MTN8

It's back to the drawing board for Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro after their 2-0 defeat to Sekhukhune United on Tuesday night.

Having done well to match the PSL's best team over the weekend, Pirates would have been wanting to assert some dominance in the league against Sekhukhune.

But there was not enough quality nor focus and intensity from the Sea Robbers and after Thabiso Monyane had been sent off, the Soweto side capitulated quite meekly and gave away some sloppy goals.

The lack of intent and the lack of a fighting spirit were of concern to their coach and rightfully so.

"The opponent was better than us. Not through good football or dominating - but at least a bit more passion perhaps," Riveiro told SuperSport TV.

At this point of the season, and with Bucs trying hard to keep league-leaders Sundowns in sight, it should be of concern that Riveiro brought into question his players' mentality.

It's possible that the cup clash with Sundowns took a lot out of the Buccaneers, although at this stage of the season and without there having been a lot of action over the past month, players should overall be relatively fresh. Certainly, far busier times are ahead and Riveiro will need to find a way to pick up his men quickly.

Of concern too are the blanks being fired - the Sea Robbers have netted in only one of their last four matches.

Also disappointing was Ndabayithethwa Ndlondlo’s uninspired performance after he had done so well against Sundowns on debut, while the mistake made from goalkeeper Richard Ofori for the second goal served to underline the careless nature of Pirates’ evening.

For a club of the Buccaneers’ stature, hard graft, focus and fighting spirit should be the minimum requirement for the players.

Consistency has been Pirates' problem for several years now and while there have been some promising signs from the currently-assembled Bucs side, they can't afford many more performances like the Sekhukhune showing as they’re already five points behind the Brazilians.

How the team responds in the next few outings could be a good gauge of how much potential for success this group really has.