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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Riveiro admits Saleng is not having best season at Pirates

"He’s not having the best time of his career," said the Bucs mentor.

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has admitted that Monnapule Saleng is not performing at his best so far this season, but he is happy with the player’s contribution coming from the bench.

READ MORE: Pirates’ Riveiro pleased to have won ‘boring’ Swallows tie

Saleng was arguably Pirates’ best player last season, with the former Orbit College FC winger making a huge impact in Bucs victories in the MTN8 and Nedbank Cup finals.

This season, though, Saleng has started in a not so convincing way for Bucs, which has seen him being demoted to the bench.

Saleng came off the bench on Tuesday to help Pirates grab a 2-0 victory against Moroka Swallows FC at Orlando Stadium.

The winger’s cross was deflected into the back of the net by Sipho Sibiya of Swallows for the second goal after Evidence Makgopa had put Bucs upfront in the second half.

“If a player from the bench is not coming with the right motivation and understanding that the last 10 minutes are important for the team and for him as well, he will need to be prepared in the next time (game),” said the Bucs coach.

“But I am happy with the contribution from the bench, happy for Saleng. He’s not having the best time of his career, but he came from the bench and contributed with good action that luckily ended in a goal. I think it was an own-goal, if I’m not mistaken.”

With the Buccaneers left with only four games until the end of the year, Riveiro’s words should be a motivation for Saleng to keep on fighting to get back to the starting line-up at the club.

The Sea Robbers will host TS Galaxy in Soweto on Saturday, with the hope of adding their second three points in a row.

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After Galaxy, Pirates will battle it out with Golden Arrows, and SuperSport United and end the year with a tie against Stellenbosch FC. Bucs are currently sitting in sixth spot on the league standings with 19 points after 12 matches.

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