'I’d rather play ugly and win the game': Pirates boss Jose Riveiro desperate for victory before Soweto derby

06 November 2023 - 17:00
By Sithembiso Dindi
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro during the DStv Premiership match against AmaZulu FC at Moses Mabhida Stadium on October 24, 2023.
Image: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro during the DStv Premiership match against AmaZulu FC at Moses Mabhida Stadium on October 24, 2023.

Under fire Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro is so desperate for a victory against Sekhukhune United that he doesn’t care how they get it.

Pirates host equally struggling and desperate Babina Noko in a DStv Premiership clash at Orlando Stadium on Tuesday (7.30pm).

Riveiro will go into the clash under the most pressure since he joined the Sea Robbers before last season.

Pirates have gone four games without a win in the league to be in a disappointing position 13 on the log table with just nine points from eight games. They are six points above last-placed Cape Town Spurs.

To make matters worse, Pirates were eliminated from the Carling Knockout Cup by less-fancied Richards Bay FC at the weekend in Durban.

After the penalty shoot-out loss in Durban, Riveiro spoke about the need to quickly end their poor run, especially as they play bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.

The coach suggested he wouldn’t mind if they play “ugly” football against Sekhukhune, who are rumoured to have fired coach Brandon Truter after a string of bad results, as long as they have a win at the end of the game.

“It’s important [to win before the Chiefs game] and mainly because we are playing for three points and we need points,” Riveiro said.

While the result may suggest Pirates’ overall performance has been shocking, that’s far from the truth as Riveiro’s side have enjoyed a lot of dominance over their opponents.

The problem has been not being able to break down the opponents' defence and score goals.

“We need to play that one game. We need to play really [ugly] and win it and not be fancy like we are now, with 80% of ball possession, putting the opponents [under pressure] and not scoring,” Riveiro said.

“I’d rather play an [ugly] game and win it, get the three points and get a boost and go to the derby as good as possible.

“But we don’t want to do it that way. We have our own way to do things and we want to win because it’s important for the confidence of the players, to our fans as well to be happy with us.

“It goes without saying the next game is important,” he said.

Like Pirates, Sekhukhune have gone four matches in the league without a victory and they were also knocked out of the Carling Cup by TS Galaxy on Saturday.

They have played 10 league games and collected a disappointing 11 points to occupy 11th spot on the log table.

The last time the two sides met, it was in the MTN8 quarterfinal this season, and Pirates ran riot over Truter’s men, beating them 5-0 at Orlando Stadium.