By Michael Madyira
Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has insisted their remaining games of the season are crucial like Cup finals as they push to play in Africa next term.
The Buccaneers are left with eight Premier Soccer League matches and are also in the quarter-finals of the Nedbank Cup.
On the league front, third-placed Pirates have five points fewer than SuperSport United who are second.
They are tied on 34 points with Soweto rivals Kaizer Chiefs who are a rung below them and are also bidding to secure a Caf Champions League spot by finishing the season in the top-two.
Riveiro’s men will now host SuperSport on Saturday in a match that could have a huge influence on the course of their season.
“We will play finals until the end, in the league in the Nedbank Cup,” Riveiro told the media.
“Every game is going to be crucial for all of us; the ones playing against relegation, others for the top positions and for the possibility to play in Africa next season.
“It’s important to find ourselves in that position next season. There are more teams fighting for the same objectives against us. SuperSport has more advantages.”
If Pirates win on Saturday, they will cut the gap between them and SuperSport to two points while hoping to overtake Matsatsantsa in the other seven matches.
“It’s an opportunity to get three points and at the same time for our immediate opponent not to get them,” said Riveiro.
“When we don’t play them, we are waiting and expecting them to drop points in other games. But this time it is an opportunity to do it ourselves.
“We don’t want to lose that opportunity to reduce the distance. We don’t have to check our phones the day after, to see what the opponent is doing, we have the chance to do it ourselves.”
While Pirates have been inconsistent this season, Riveiro does not look much concerned.
“There are still more games to play and a lot of points to play for but it’s one of those moments of the season that will determine where we will be in the end,” added the Spaniard.
Winning the Nedbank Cup is also another avenue to play Caf Confederation Cup football next season.
Pictured above: Jose Riveiro
Image source: Orlando Pirates