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The Reaction From Pirates Fans Wasn’t Fair – Riverio

Orlando Pirates head coach Jose Riveiro could not hide his delight over the progress of Evidence Makgopa and stated he was treated unfairly by the club’s supporters.

Makgopa, 23, impressed when leading the line against Mamelodi Sundowns at the back of featuring in all seven games for Bafana Bafana en route to a third-place finish at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

He netted a historic opener for South Africa in the 2-0 win over Africa’s number one ranked side Morocco, while also bagging an assist in the 4-0 win over Namibia but it was his all-round game that drew plaudits and special praise from around the continent.

“That’s the key, the confidence, that’s probably the biggest change when you speak about Evidence, it’s about confidence, it was not easy for the boy,” Riveiro admitted about the much-maligned striker since his return from AFCON.

“He went through a difficult period when he started to play for us, continuously in the league, sometimes the feedback he got from the stands was not fair but he managed to navigate it, to make the situation a strength and motivation for him to show his [quality].

“And after his performance in Ivory Coast, I think nobody has doubts about his potential, but still he’s 23, making his first steps into a big club like Pirates and he needs to now [use] the opportunity in the second half of the season to show that he can do much better.

“There’s potential for more and not feeling relaxed or feeling that he’s already got a permanent starting berth because the competition is still strong and he’s competition with players with an interesting background and fighting for their future.

“So the best is still coming for him, I’m sure but he needs to keep that level of confidence and keep delivering for the team.”

Makgopa has scored five goals with two assists in 18 games across all competitions this season.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.