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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Riveiro promises fight in Nedbank Cup title defence

'We want to go back to continental football without any discussion,' said the Bucs coach.

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro has promised a huge fight from his players to defend their Nedbank Cup title.

The Buccaneers face Safa League side Crystal Lake in the last 32 on Saturday at Mbombela Stadium.

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The Pirates coach says it is vital for the Buccaneers to get back to playing continental football and the Nedbank Cup gives them a chance to secure a spot in next season’s Caf Confederation Cup.

With a huge gap in the league standings between the Buccaneers and leaders Mamelodi Sundowns (Bucs are in fifth spot on the log with 26 points, while Sundowns are on top with 39 points), Riveiro emphasised the need to continue fighting in the league, as well as defending the Ke Yona Cup.

“The distance with the top of the table is big, but we need to continue (fighting to win matches). We need to keep trying to compete in every league game.”

Pirates will also qualify for continental football if they can finish in the top three in the DStv Premiershi.

“We want to go back to continental football without any discussion.. And we have the extra motivation to have one more cup to play. We are defending the title,” added the Bucs mentor.

No stranger to minnows

Taking on a Safa league side, Riveiro believes his charges have enough experience to know how to approach this game, having faced three minnows in the last edition of the competition on their way to winning the final.

“It is a competition that I like and I would like to know who we are going to play. But we will prepare ourselves as usual and we are going to take the game very seriously because we had an experience last season playing against opponents like Dondol Stars, All Stars, and Venda Football Club,” he added.

“It was not an easy path for us. We know clearly what is the objective for us and we are going to fight the same way we did against Sundowns.”

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The Soweto giants will head into this clash after their 1-1 draw with Sundowns in a DStv Premiership tie at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

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