First Spurs then derby for Pirates

Orlando Pirates
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Orlando Pirates will not focus on Saturday’s Soweto Derby match when they face bottom-of-the-log Cape Town Spurs in a DSTV Premiership match at the Orlando stadium on Wednesday evening. The Buccanneers will clash with the Urban Warriors ahead of the eagerly anticipated clash against bitter rivals Kaizer Chiefs at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

With the Soweto Derby on the horizon, Pirates will first have to fully focus on Wednesday’s match against Cape Town Spurs. They will meet their Soweto rivals three days after the Spurs match, but Coach Jose Riveiro says they cannot afford to look too far ahead. It’s first things first.

“You get the same amount of points for each and every game, there is nothing extra because of the opponent that you are playing, and I try to be pragmatic in my approach. We know the importance of the three points and that’s the only thing that occupies our minds right now,”

The Buccaneers will be looking to maintain their decent start since the resumption of the league following the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast at the beginning of the year. They drew with log leaders Mamelodi Sundowns and beat Polokwane City both away from home.

Sundowns have a healthy lead at the top, and Riveiro says they want to finish as high as possible on the log and also do well in the Nedbank Cup.

“We have a very good opportunity from now to finish as high as possible and finish as far as possible in the Nedbank Cup so it’s a challenge” Riveiro added.

Pirates will face the rejuvenated Cape Town side that has won two matches in a row since the resumption of the league.

The Urban Warriors surprisingly registered their only victory in the first round of the DSTV Premiership against Pirates, drew only one and lost the rest of their matches. But Pirates defender Thapelo Xoki says they must forget about the past results and focus on the future.

“We can’t change the results of the previous games, we gave our all, unfortunately we didn’t get the points that we wanted but we can’t think the season is finished for us. We have to collect three points at home.”

Meanwhile, Pirates goalkeeper Melusi Buthelezi is back in training after the hijacking and kidnapping ordeal he suffered last week in Ekurhuleni. The 26-year-old was released unharmed and Riveiro says he is fit and raring to go.

“He is in a safer space with us, I am talking about mental state and his teammates are trying to help him to be back. He is looking good, he is trying to move forward, and we are here for him,”

The Pirates versus Spurs match will kick-off at 7:30 pm on Wednesday.