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Riveiro speaks on the difficulty of managing off-form Lepasa and Saleng

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro has spoken on the difficulty of managing off-form players like Zakhele Lepasa and Monnapule Saleng.

Lepasa began the 2023/24 DStv Premiership season like a house on fire after scoring 10 goals in all competitions. The Pirates’ youth product has since endured a dip in form since sustaining an injury while at Bafana Bafana camp in October.

Lepasa who is currently experiencing a goal drought was last on the score sheet when the Buccaneers defeated Cape Town City 2-0 at Orlando Stadium on the 29th of September 2023.

Meanwhile, Monnapule Saleng has had a difficult start to the 2023/24 campaign after netting just two goals in 16 appearances in all competitions.

Saleng was pivotal for Pirates as they won the Nedbank Cup and MTN8 silverware last season. The left-footed attacker scored 15 goals in all competitions in the previous season and contributed 11 assists.

The former Free-State Stars winger was rewarded for his stellar season at the 2023 PSL awards as he walked away with the DStv Premiership Player’s Player of the Season and MTN8 last-man-standing accolade.


With Lepasa and Saleng seemingly struggling for form in recent matches, Riveiro has explained how difficult it is to manage the duo.

“Obviously, it’s difficult [managing off-form players], it’s not the easy part of the job but that’s why we are here,” Riveiro told the media when asked about Lepasa and Saleng.

Jose Riveiro in the the dugout for Orlando Pirates
Jose Riveiro on Zakhele Lepasa and Monnapule Saleng

“We need to show that we have the capacity to manage that part of the job, not being on the field is a problem without a solution. Every player wants to be on the field, there’s no way that one player will accept being on the bench.

“Especially in a squad like ours but the most important thing is the brotherhood between them. Whoever is on the bench is supporting the one on the field.

“We doing a good job together, eventually there’s gonna be a situation of not bad behaviour because they behaving very well but ups and downs, let’s say the mood.”

Pirates moved to the third spot on the league table with 25 points after beating Golden Arrows 2-1 at Mpumalanga Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

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