Ratshivhadelo doubts Black Leopards will survive relegation without Mhlongo and Kapinga

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Former Bidvest Wits striker Coxwell Ratshivhadelo doubts Black Leopards will survive relegation when the 2019/20 season resumes.

Lidoda Duvha are rooted at the bottom of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) standings on 16th spot with six league matches left to end the campaign which has been suspended since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Leopards will be without midfielder Lesedi Kapinga and striker Joseph Mhlongo, who have both left the club after their contracts expired at the end of last month.

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The Limpopo-based side's management decided against keeping them until the suspended season is completed in a Biologically Safe Environment (BSE) in Gauteng soon.

Ratshivhadelo, who is a former Leopards striker and fans’ favourite, believes this decision will backfire as the duo was key for the team's hopes of surviving relegation to the National First Division (NFD).

“I’m also surprised by the decision the club management took because I thought they will hold onto all their important players until the end of the season,” Ratshivhadelo told Daily Sun.

“Kapinga and Mhlongo are some of the best players in the team and will be needed during this tough time.

“At least this [decision by the club] will benefit the players in terms of their future. In my opinion, it is a good move for them [Kapinga and Mhlongo] financially.”

Mhlongo, who is a free agent, has been linked with Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates in the past, but Chippa United and Highlands Park are known to be keen admirers of the 29-year-old player.

His former Leopards teammate, Lesedi Kapinga completed his move to Mamelodi Sundowns this week having also been linked with Pirates and SuperSport United.

Now working as a prison warder, Ratshivhadelo also believes Lidoda Duvha lack depth in their squad with the club having also parted ways with attacking midfielders Karabo Tshepe and Thuso Phala since the season was halted due to Covid-19.

“But as for Leopards, it was not a good decision. I am a big fan of Leopards as I enjoyed playing for them," the former Pietersburg City Pillars player explained.

"But honestly, it will be very difficult for them without those two players to survive relegation. I am looking at the depth of their squad and how they have been struggling throughout the season. I doubt Leopards will survive.”

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