Kimvuidi Keikie Karim of Orlando Pirates and Nyiko Mobbie of Sekhukhune United during the DStv Premiership match on TuesdayImage: Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu

Riviero concedes three competitions were too much for Bucs

Pirates finally win but consistency has eluded them

by · SowetanLIVE

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has chalked up their unsatisfactory league form to juggling the DStv Premiership with three different competitions early in the season.

Beating Sekhukhune 1-0 at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday, Pirates snapped their four-game winless streak in the league, having last won in the DStv Premiership in August by outwitting Cape Town City 2-0 at home.

Riveiro is convinced participating in three other competitions – MTN8, the CAF Champions League and the Carling Knockout – complicated their league campaign.

“Our schedule was strange. Early in the league we played four games very quickly and then we disappeared... we weren’t in the league anymore [as] we were playing three other competitions,” Riveiro said.

“We had a good run in the MTN8 [ they won it], we didn’t succeed in the Champions League [after being elbowed by Botswana side Jwaneng Galaxy in the second prelim phase] and it happened again in the last game in the Carling [they were eliminated by Richards Bay last weekend]. It seemed like we weren’t participating in the league with the frequency that you need.”

The Spaniard continued to argue: “It’s difficult; this is not an excuse. I mean the schedule is what it is and we accepted it from the beginning.

“But it’s difficult to prepare yourself, especially mentally, to say today I play for three points, tomorrow I play for one trophy in the final and after tomorrow I play in the quarterfinal in a different competition... three days later I play to qualify for the group stages [of the Champions League]’.”

Nevertheless, Riveiro admits they should know how to juggle competitions because the Sea Robbers are likely to always be competing on many fronts. Bucs would certainly be hoping to build on the Sekhukhune win when they take on their traditional Soweto foes Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium on Saturday (3.30pm).

“It [juggling] is one of the things we need to do better. We need to improve because eventually Pirates will always be in that mixture of competitions early in the season, where participation isnt enough, you have to succeed and go to the last stage of each competition,” Riveiro said.