Jose Riveiro, Orlando PiratesBackpage

Riveiro on Makgopa & Marou's Orlando Pirates futures: 'Not the players I like the most' but...

  • Pirates moved closer to Caf CL football
  • Marou and Makgopa played a part vs SSU
  • Riveiro commented on future of duo

WHAT HAPPENED: Neither Marou nor Makgopa has had an opportunity to start a game for Pirates in the ongoing campaign.

With the season almost coming to a close, Riveiro was asked about the future of the two attackers who got minutes in the Premier Soccer League win against SuperSport United in the race for Caf Champions League football.

The Spanish tactician justified his reasons for not starting the two players, and how their introduction affected the match against the Swanky Boys.

Article continues below

WHAT HE SAID: "I don’t think Evidence is not exactly a target-man, he is not a [traditional] number nine, he’s a number nine who also needs space to explode, to run," Riveiro said as quoted by iDiski Times.

"We needed a player who can manage with the physical side, as SuperSport centre-backs are very physical and strong, we needed someone fresh to deal with that to put the two centre-backs together and at the same time trying to use the space [Thembinkosi] Lorch creates.

"Those are the types of spaces we feel Makgopa could do better for us. In [the game against SuperSport], the same with Marou, the full-back was tired, Marou is a strong player physically, he can run, and he can give you a bad time if he can [get you 1v1], so we try to be aggressive with those coming in bringing in more physical capacities than the players substituted."

AND WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?: Riveiro further made his stance known regarding the players at his disposal.

"Everybody fits in the squad as long as they are ready to contribute, you know if Evidence is coming to the field and he’s giving something, it’s because he’s working well during the week – the same with Marou," the tactician continued.

"That is what you like as a coach, whatever is called from the bench is giving you an honest performance like they did, but I understand your questions and sometimes depending on the scenario you find, some players fit better than others."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Makgopa was signed at the beginning of the season but injuries limited his involvement in the team.

He has since recovered and made just three Premier Soccer League appearances and one Nedbank Cup outing.

Evidence Makgopa of Orlando Pirates.Backpagepix.

Marou was signed in the most recent transfer window. Despite being part of the Indomitable Lions who took part in the Fifa World Cup in Qatar, the striker has struggled for game time.

The Cameroon international has played a combined 42 minutes for the Sea Robbers in top-flight football.

Souaibou Marou, Orlando Pirates, February 2023Backpagepix

WHAT NEXT: The two players have no alternative but to give their best in training and convince Riveiro they are vital for Bucs' growth.