Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi has responded to criticism over their treatment of veteran midfielder Hlompho Kekana.
Kekana was reduced to a bench warmer this season following years of dedication and huge contribution to Sundowns' success over the years.
Despite seeing limited game time this season, the former Bafana Bafana midfielder was recalled from the bench to lift the DStv Premiership trophy at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Saturday.
Mngqithi has since assured the Yellow Nation that the 36-year-old club captain remains a respected figure in the dressing room as he hinted that the player will continue beyond the current campaign.
"I would prefer not to comment much about Hlompho, because there has been a lot of speculation that we don't like him and all sorts of things," Mngqithi told the media.
"But the truth of the matter is that he is our captain, thats why even today [Saturday] we made sure that as captain of the club, he gets the respect he requires.
"At this stage, we have not finalised what is going to happen to which player and what player. The truth of the matter is that Hlompho has a contract at the club and he is still respected as one of the legends of the club."
Kekana - together with teammate Denis Onyango - has now won an individual record eight league medals despite his limited contribution.
"It is true that he has not played many games but we must also look at those who played – what did they do for the club, because at times we dwell too much on him not having played many matches.
"We don't focus on how good those were that got the chance to play, while the truth of the matter is at Sundowns it's not easy for everyone."
Check out this list of most decorated players through the PSL era
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