Cape Town - Chippa United coach Dan Malesela was disappointed to see Xola Mlambo leave the club and admits it's been hard replace the midfielder.Mlambo excelled under Malesela's stewardship and was tempted away by Bidvest Wits, while another key player, left-sided utility man Nkosinathi Mthiyane, left for Orlando Pirates.Malesela says he respects the duo's decisions, although he questioned whether the moves were really best for their careers."Xola (Mlambo) was a big loss you know, just like when we lost Mthiyane," he told Goal website. "When people have to pursue what we call greener pastures you know you can't stop them."Players come and go and you have to replace them; that's the nature of the game."Personally, I had a relationship (with them). I had quite a bond with Xola and he knew what to do and he understood what I wanted. He knew what I demanded."It was quite a big loss because now I have to teach somebody else how to play his role so that we can move forward."