Johannesburg - Black Leopards have all but resigned themselves to playing in the First Division next season, according to coach Sunday Chidzambwa.
Leopards lost 4-1 to Orlando Pirates in Soweto on Wednesday night, and remain rooted to the bottom of the Absa Premiership table.
"I must admit, we are playing so badly these days, we really need to dig deep and try and rectify our problems," Chidzambwa said.
"Like our defence organisation. Until we get that right, we will not go anywhere. I think, automatically, it means we will go out."
Leopards, who are two points behind rookies Chippa United, need to win their last match against Free State Stars on Saturday to have any chance of avoiding the automatic drop from the Premier League and securing a place in the promotion/relegation playoffs.
"Sometimes you have a drought season in countries," Chidzambwa said.
"This is our dry season in football. A team can go through a bad spell in football, and we are going through a bad season."
Meanwhile, Pirates' coach Roger de Sa said he had used the game to try out some fresh faces in his squad.
The Buccaneers, who are lying third in the standings, cannot catch Kaizer Chiefs, who clinched the league crown with a 1-1 draw against SuperSport United on Wednesday.
After this weekend's final league fixtures, Bucs will turn their attention to the African Champions League, having secured their place in the group stages.
"We tried a couple of different players and gave a couple [of] guys a chance," De Sa said.
He was particularly pleased with the performance of debutante keeper Brighton Mhlongo.
"Right now, we're trying to look at players who are good enough for next season," De Sa said.
"Today(Wednesday) was a good opportunity to see if we could give Brighton a run.
"The real thing comes when you play in a game like tonight's [Wednesday's].
"I'm pretty happy with his performance, and in general he was pretty good."