Bucs coach not tempted to rotate squad in Carling Knockout

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says he is not tempted to rotate his squad, despite some of his regular players recently returning from international duty ahead of their game against Cape Town Spurs.

The Buccaneers will return to action after their successful MTN8 title defence, when they welcome strugglers Spurs in their Carling Black Label Knockout opening round encounter at the Orlando Stadium on Friday night.

Pirates come from the back of an emphatic MTN8 final victory over Mamelodi Sundowns and had a two-weeks long international break.

The likes of goalkeeper Richard Ofori, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Paseka Mako and Zakhele Lepasa (who did not travel with the Bafana Bafana squad to Ivory Coast midweek due to injury) were all not with the Pirates preparations for the Spurs game.

Even so, Riveiro said he will not be compelled to rotate his team, as he intends to pick up from where they left off from their last game against Sundowns.

“No, not at all [in feeling pressured to make a squad rotation],” Riveiro conceded during a press conference on Wednesday.

“The only thing that sometimes make us consider making changes between the games is how tight the schedule is – for instance we will be playing on Friday, then travel to Durban [against AmaZulu] on Tuesday the come back to play at home again at the end of the week against Polokwane City.

“So, in that case, we obviously must manage the group as good as possible to be fresh and ready in every game. But, regarding this game, there is nothing really [that will force them to make changes] because we are looking to select the best team to find continuity from the triumph in the final.”

Riveiro and his Buccaneers will be looking to change their fortunes and get back to winning ways. Before the MTN8 cup win in Durban two weeks ago, the team had lost their last three home games.

Standing in their way are a Spurs side that is in desperate need of their first win this season. The Cape side have lost in all their eight league matches since their promotion to the DStv Premiership this season.

Kick-off time is at 7.30pm.

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