Orlando Pirates banking on their experience against lower oppositions in their Crystal Park approach

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro is confident that his team will show no complacency tomorrow when they face Mpumalanga regional league side Crystal Park in a Nedbank Cup last 32 match at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

On their journey to winning this competition last season, Pirates played three lower division teams before facing Premier Division teams (Kaizer Chiefs and Sekhukhune United) to lift the title.

Riveiro has recalled how they dealt with Motsepe Foundation Championship teams, All Stars and Venda Academy FC and ABC Motsepe League Gauteng provincial champions, Dondol Stars. He says they will use that experience against Crystal Lake.

“We know it’s a challenge and it’s an opportunity for us to be the team that we want to be consistently. It doesn’t make any sense to perform the way we did a few days ago in Pretoria, now we have the opportunity to develop the same type of performance and not do it, it’s maybe one of our deficits in these types of games.

So, the preparation so far has been the same like in every other game. There’s nothing that we are doing that we don’t do in preparation for a PSL game for example,” Riveiro said.Crystal Lake from Bushbuckridge were only confirmed last week as Pirates opponents after they won an arbitration case in Mpumalanga against an ABC Motsepe league side Middelburg United.

Riveiro says their past experiences have taught them about being a better team come matchday.”We already have the experience coming from the last season where we had to face FC All Stars and it was really difficult, we were about to play penalties, we played extra time and we scored after 110 or 12 minutes. You know the story with Dondol Stars, we went to the penalties,” Riveiro said.

“So, we know there’s nothing that I have to tell or they [don’t] need to use their imagination about what can happen in these types of games because we saw for those type of difficult days already last season.“So, it’s an opportunity to show professionalism, especially ambition because it’s a cup game and it’s always about who’s the better team on the day. So, we are gonna be prepared,” Riveiro added.

(story credit: SABC Sport)

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