No pity party for Bucs after loss to Natal Rich Boyz

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro. | BackpagePix

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro. | BackpagePix

Published May 15, 2024


Smiso Msomi

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has expressed that he does not think his side’s recent defeat will have any psychological bearing on their fight for CAF Champions League football next season.

The Buccaneers spurned a great opportunity to take the driving seat in the race for second place as they fell to defeat at home to Richards Bay. The Sea Robbers also saw their seven-game winning streak broken by the relegation-threatened Natal Rich Boyz.

That result means Pirates’ destiny is now in the hands of other teams whom they’ll hope can derail second-placed Stellenbosch as they look to navigate the last two games of the season.

The 46-year-old mentor refused to be drawn into a pity party but rather came out with fighting talk in the post-match media conference.

He said that he and his group would not be phased by their defeat and failure to take advantage of a slip-up by Stellies but would rather focus their attention on getting back on the bike.

“This situation is not new to us,” he explained. “We’ve been through it before where we had to win all the remaining games.

“We had the chance (to win the game) because we had complete control of the situation, but we couldn’t. But we have two more games to rectify the situation and I think the (winner) of the second position will be decided on the last day (of the season).”

Pirates did not look off their game, as they played with their usual enthusiasm but just failed to make that momentum count where it mattered most.

Tshegofatso Mabasa of Orlando Pirates had an average game at best against Richards Bay this past weekend. | BackpagePix

The DStv Premiership’s leading scorer Tshegofatso Mabasa was among a few players who did not bring their scoring boots on the day.

Riveiro explained that his team would not require wholesale changes and adjustments ahead of the coming games.

“Like I said, we have the opportunity to do an objective analysis of the game and show the players we are still performing the same way as in the previous seven games where we got the results,” said Riveiro.

“The only difference today was we didn’t score, we didn’t manage to put the ball in the net like in the previous games.

“Everything else – the concentration, the pace, the desire, the level of aggression – everything was there. That’s why I said, in my opinion, it’s a defeat that won’t affect us at all, there’s not going to be space to feel sorry for ourselves.”

The Buccaneers will next line up against top-four hopefuls TS Galaxy at the weekend, a difficult away fixture for any side in the top division.

They will close out the season with a tricky battle against SuperSport United, who are also in with a chance to qualify for the CAF Confederation Cup next season.