Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro is bullish about their title credentials.
Pirates may have just won their last trophy in the 2020/2021 season, where they clinched the MTN8, but that their last league triumph was in the 2011/12 term has always meant they’re under pressure to be league champions again. In what is his maiden season in the Premier Soccer League, Riveiro has sounded confident of delivering the league title, though he conceded it won’t be a walk in the park.
“We want to achieve higher standards. We want to finish the season at the peak…at the top. We’re ambitious. We’re not only saying that we want to be at the top, we are reacting to make sure we achieve that,” Riveiro said at Pirates’ media open day at Rand Stadium in Johannesburg yesterday.
“We want to achieve the maximum achievement. Is it guaranteed that we are going to do it? No, because there are other teams that want to achieve the same. I can tell you for sure that we’re going to be there in that fight the whole season, and let’s see what happens.”
Perennial league champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who’ve been the champions for the last five years, had had a somewhat slow start to the season with two defeats already. This has since sparked talk that the title race could be wide open. Even so, Pirates skipper Innocent Maela has emphasised that as the Buccaneers, they’re not concentrating on what the Brazilians are doing.
“Regardless of how our rivals or Sundowns have started, we are very ambitious and we want to go all the way and achieve things this season but we don’t talk about Sundowns as to how they perform. We are only focused on ourselves. Even if Sundowns won all their games they’ve played this season, our focus would still be on ourselves,” insisted Maela.
Pirates welcome TS Galaxy, who’ve just conceded once thus far, in what will be their eighth league fixture of the term at Orlando Stadium tomorrow (5.30pm). “They [Galaxy] are a very solid side… a very difficult team to score against. They are a very disciplined team. As usual, we would like to dominate the game as much as possible,” Riveiro noted.
This content was originally published here.