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Jose Riveiro has to steady Orlando Pirates’ ship to avoid being haunted by the Ghosts

New Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has his work cur out for him. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

New Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has his work cur out for him. Picture: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Aug 4, 2022

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Cape Town - Of the four coaches who will make their Premiership debut this weekend, the spotlight will fall on little-known Spaniard Jose Riveiro, who will spearhead Orlando Pirates' drive to reclaim lost pride this season.

The other three new coaches Frenchman Romain Folz (Marumo Gallants), Daine Klate (Chippa United) and Sifiso Dladla (Richards Bay) will be flying under the radar for a while unless they are shown the exit door soon.

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It is not unusual for Premiership clubs to sack coaches at the start of the season.

Last August, Josef Zinnbauer was fired after Pirates lost an MTN8 quarter-final match which was played ahead of the start of the league season.

Pirates are one of the richest and most followed clubs in South Africa, and fans are crying out for silverware. The club has not won the league title since the 2011-12 season.

Pirates won the MTN8 championship under Zinnbauer two seasons ago, but it was not enough to save him a year later.

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For the past seven years, Riveiro has coached clubs in Finland, but none of these clubs have a fan base to match the Buccaneers.

Now that supporters are allowed back at the stadiums, Riveiro will be in for an intimidating experience at Orlando Stadium on Saturday. If the team falls behind, the fans will be in his ear.

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Riveiro knows a thing or two about what to expect from Pirates fans and feels they could provide the team with a lift.

“We're playing for the fans,” said Riveiro.

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“We'll have the fans back in the stadium and that could be one of our advantages, one of our strengths.

“We understand what we are. We understand what we represent as a coaching staff and a football squad. So, I'm looking forward to showing it.

“We must offer a good show every time we play, and it doesn't mean we have to play tiki-taka. We must be brave. We must be a proactive team and look for a good result every week, every chance we have.”

It would seem the players have bought into Riveiro's vision according to midfielder Goodman Mosele.

“The good thing is that we have the same objective now as a team, the coach wants results, and he's someone who likes attacking football. He likes his team to play on the front foot and defend as a unit,” said Mosele.

“With the quality, we have, I'm confident that in the next season, we will see a different Orlando Pirates.”

New Pirates signings include Bienvenu Eva Nga, Miguel Timm, Azola Matrose, Tapelo Xoki, Nkosinathi Sibisi and Evidence Makgopa.

Makgopa's move to Pirates has pleased Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos and he could form a potent striking partnership with Ghanaian Kwame Peprah, who could thrive under Riveiro.

Upfront, Pirates also have the ever-improving Namibian international Deon Hotto who offers a variety of attacking options and great things are expected from him this season.

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