No one has any doubts about Makgopa’s potential – Jose Riveiro

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has shed some light on Evidence Makgopa’s upward trajectory, saying his high confidence levels have been key to his current form.

The Bafana Bafana striker has been in impressive form in recent months, which gained him a call-up to Hugo Broos’ Africa Cup of Nations squad in Ivory Coast.

The 23-year-old played an integral role in helping Bafana seal a third-place finish and return with a bronze medal over a week ago.

The forward from Limpopo made no mistakes and seized the chance to play with both hands after spending months on the sidelines due to injury and competition in the striking role; this has since been attributed to Makgopa’s high degree of confidence.

It is all about confidence

“That’s the key — the confidence. That’s probably the biggest change if you’re talking about evidence,” Riveiro said during the Nedbank Cup press conference.

The Soweto giants will begin their title defence against amateur side Crystal Lake at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s about confidence, and it was not easy for the boy. He had to go through a difficult period when he started to play for us.”

“Sometimes the feedback he got from the stands [supporters] was not fair, but he managed to navigate it and make that situation one of his strengths and a motivation to show his ability.

“After his performance in Ivory Coast, I think nobody has any doubts about his potential.”

Intense competition at Bucs

Riveiro said that due to the intense competition at the Pirates, his talisman cannot afford to relax and should pick up where he left off in the second half of the DStv Premiership season.

“He needs to show in the second part of the season that he can do it even better because he has the potential for more,” Riveiro added.

“He cannot relax or feel like he’s already got a permanent starting position because the competition on the team is strong. He’s competing with players with interesting backgrounds, players who are also fighting for their future.

“The best is still to come from him, I’m sure, but he needs to keep that level of confidence.”

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