Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro says the low blocks they are coming up against is the way teams feel they can best take points off them.
After losing their first game of the season at Danie Craven against Stellenbosch, Riveiro stated he hopes all teams come against them with the low block as they will win most of the games.
And after some stunning form thereafter which saw them score 18 goals in the next seven games the wheels slightly fell off with just six goals in their next 11 games.
“Low block? Everything is fine in football, I think it’s already here, a change of trends in football, the game positions, positional attacks, the opponent analysis – it’s difficult when you have 10 players in front of the box,” Riveiro said after the 1-0 win over Sekhukhune United on Tuesday evening.
“But the most difficult thing – for me of the low blocks, as a player, you need to accept it – you understand? As a player you want to go on the field and have spaces [to play in], you want to run with the ball, you want to attack and suddenly you find 10 players in front, or nine.
“And usually what happens? You lose patience, you want to score early so that the opponent opens spaces and in that lack of patience, usually the transitions are coming and it’s that type of scenario where you feel you are in control because you have the ball.
“In Cape Town Spurs, we had 80 or 79% possession, AmaZulu, the same, Richards Bay, the same, [Sekhukhune] pretty much the same, so you feel in control but there are two, three moments in the game you find yourself in a three vs two or four vs three and they can score.”
Pirates are now ninth in the DStv Premiership, 12 points off league leaders Mamelodi Sundowns, and have played two games more than the reigning champions.
While they have retained the MTN8 title and fallen out of the reckoning for the Carling Knockout and CAF Champions League, the league campaign is now the priority where they have been finding it challenging to be consistent due to the congested fixture schedule.
“So there’s one way, there’s an acceptable way to deal with teams that use a lot of players in attack because usually you’re attacking and have 60 meters behind you that the opponent can attack, they can use it, they can steal one ball or wait for one mistake,” Riveiro continued on their struggles to break down teams of late.
“So it’s a simplistic way to approach the game but it’s one way for the opposition to collect points against teams with Monyane and Hotto in their last lines, three number 10s, but you know it’s an opportunity for us to be on the ball, that’s what we want.
“What happened in the [winless run] was exceptional, we created so many chances and we should have opened the games early – why do teams play [with a low block], they feel it’s a way to collect points on transition, it’s simple.”
Pirates next task is the Soweto Derby this weekend away to Kaizer Chiefs at FNB Stadium.