CHIPOLOPOLO tricky winger Fashion Sakala has expressed hope that he can provide Rangers with a much-needed cutting edge up front after recovering from the groin injury that sidelined him last month and opening his account for the Ibrox club.
Sakala, a free signing from KV Oostende in Belgium back in May, scored in a 1-1 draw with Motherwell at home on Sunday that sent the Scottish champions a point clear at the top of the cinch Premiership.
However, manager Steven Gerrard was disappointed that his men, who dominated the 90 minutes, were unable to convert more of the opportunities they created in the final third and win the match.
Rangers also lost their opening Europa League group game against French rivals Lyon 2-0 on Thursday night after failing to take full advantage of the scoring chances they carved out.
The 24-year-old Zambian forward, who was only making his second start at the weekend, is keen to contribute more now that he is fully fit and add to his tally for the 2021/22 campaign.
“I think it was the beginning of me getting my confidence,” he said. “It was a good feeling. So I was very happy when I scored, but after the game I was disappointed because we didn’t win.
“I’m in a learning process. I can’t say I’m the answer, but as a striker I know my mission. And the mission is always to help the team. That’s something we always do in training. All the strikers are always working together to make sure that we deliver.
“Scoring goals is very important not only for me as a striker but for all the strikers. We know what we want and we are always working in training to give the team results. It’s very important for us as strikers to score and help the team to win games.”
Sakala added: “I’m trying to fit into the style of Rangers. I’m also trying to bring in what I know. With the quality of the players we have here, I think I can become better. This is the process for me to learn how Rangers play and how the coach wants me to play.
“I’m very happy to be honest. From the time I came here, I have been very happy, very excited. Everything looks bright. I had an injury a few weeks ago. I think that’s the only problem that frustrated me a little bit. Now I’m really happy. I’m back to full fitness and I’m getting my confidence again. I think I have a lot to offer the club.”
Sakala played through the middle on Sunday because his Rangers team mate Alfredo Morelos was nursing a slight knock from the Lyon match – but he stressed he is happy to play anywhere in the front three.
“I would say I am a striker,” he said. “That is my position, but looking at how we play here the front three always change positions. I can play also as a winger, which is okay, I don’t have a problem to play as a winger. To play as a main striker or winger is both okay for me. I am not affected at all.”
Sakala missed Zambia’s opening World Cup qualifiers at the start of this month due to injury – but he is hoping to do well enough for Rangers in the coming weeks to be recalled by his country.
“The dream is always to play for the national team and I think it is a very important honour to play for the national team,” he said.
“Looking at the situation now with Covid it is a little bit difficult because Zambia is a red zone country. I can’t go to Zambia now to play games there, but we have one game in Equatorial Guinea and I can go there because it is green zone and I can go there to play one game.
“This is something where the good work needs to start at the club. I need to make sure that here I am performing and working hard for the club and getting the results. And if I keep on working well here then it will be easier for me to play for the national team.”