Orlando Pirates players have endured mixed performances of late, with their fancy attacking football failing to yield positive results in their last five games.

They will need a fresh approach this week in their Premiership game against Golden Arrows and MTN8 semi-final second leg against Mamelodi Sundowns.



Below, IOL Sports looked at five Orlando Pirates players who will need to step up for them, and in doing so help relieve the pressure on new coach Jose Riveiro.

ORLANDO PIRATES PLAYERS WHO NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Kermit Erasmus

Kermit Erasmus received a huge reception upon his return to Pirates last month, given his impressive scoring prowess in his first stint six years ago.

He has made a telling impression in his three appearances, responsible for the equaliser that earned them a point against AmaZulu on Friday.

Erasmus will have to continue contributing with the goals this week against Arrows and his former club Sundowns in the MTN8 on Saturday.

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Nkosinathi Sibisi

Sibisi has had a decent start to his life at Pirates, appearing to be the first player on Riveiro’s team sheet come matchday due to his fine form.

He endured a moment to forget against AmaZulu though, missing a penalty. But with penalties being a lottery, Riveiro refused to blame the bulky defender.

Sibisi will want to reinvigorate his confidence, though, by putting in a solid display against his former side Arrows and then in helping the team reach the MTN8 final.

Ndabayithethwa Ndlondo

The No 15 jersey is one of the most famous numbers at Pirates, having been donned by legends such as diminutive former captain Benedict Vilakazi.

But since his arrival last month, Ndlondlo doesn’t seem to be suffocated by the pressure that comes with donning the number. Instead, he has learned to embrace the pressure.

And like Vilakazi & Co he will want to reach legendary status with the club – a feat that won’t be easy as he has to create, assist and score goals, plus win matches.

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Miguel Timm

Timm has had a decent start at Pirates, so much so that he has played all 12 matches this season. He has been key in the Bucs’ impressive defensive record.

Like any other player, Timm has ambitions of winning trophies with the club after winning the Nedbank Cup with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila; and that is why he will have to ensure that he protects the back four, while coming out to help the attacking unit to score goals in the final third as well.

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Siyabonga Mpontshane

The extent of Richard Ofori’s injury is still unclear and that is why veteran goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, 36, is set to start the next two matches.

Mpontshane had only played one game this season before Saturday’s game, where he made a cameo in the second half after Ofori limped off the field.

So sure, he is a bit rusty but he will need to dig deep into his experience and try to drag Pirates up on the league standings and also into the MTN8 final.

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