Jose Riveiro on goal drought

Saleng’s reaction after being benched impresses Jose Riveiro

Home » Saleng’s reaction after being benched impresses Jose Riveiro

Orlando Pirates’ head coach, Jose Riveiro, confessed his admiration for Monnapule Saleng’s positive response after the attacker lost his place in the starting lineup.

Saleng was a true game-changer for Pirates in their 2-0 victory over Moroka Swallows in the Soweto Derby on Tuesday night in the DStv Premiership at Orlando Stadium. 

The winger entered the match as a second-half substitute for Vincent Pule, and he only needed a few minutes to make his mark as he forced an own goal from Swallows’ defender Sipho Sibiya. 

Pirates coach Riveiro was impressed, considering Saleng had been benched in two of the club’s previous five games. 

In Pirates’ last five games in all competitions, Saleng only made one start, which came against Richards Bay FC in the Carling Knockout Cup.

In those matches, he did not feature twice against Sekhukhune United and Kaizer Chiefs in the Soweto. Saleng made a second appearance in two games against Richards Bay FC in the DStv Premiership and Moroka Swallows.

Orlando Pirates player Monnapule Saleng

Monnapule Saleng, the 2022/23 DStv Players’ Player of the Season, showed no signs of disappointment. Instead, he performed well as he attempted to work his way back into the starting line-up.

His display was reminiscent of fellow teammate Evidence Makgopa, who also had to wait patiently for his opportunity to play. After a long time on the sidelines, Makgopa found his scoring touch, scoring three goals in his last six league appearances. 

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“The competition, like I said several times, in the group, it’s high, like, it’s wild sometimes,” said Riveiro. “Because they (players) are all outstanding players, they all signed for Pirates to be important players and obviously to be important in your eyes and fans’ eyes, supporters, you need to be on the field.

“They are all pushing and trying to be on the field. I used to wake up in the minus-one training with 31,32, or 33 players available for selection, which was a headache.

“I want to be positive and say I think that is a good headache when you have quality, but it’s important also for them to accept the roles in the different moments of the season.

“But happy with the contribution from the bench, happy for Saleng. He’s not having the best time in his career, but he’s coming from the bench and contributing with a good action that luckily finished in the goal. 

“I think it was an own goal if I’m not mistaken, but for sure important for the boys and us for the future.”

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