Keeping up with the enormous demands of Rangers fans has proved very difficult for players who have lacked mental fortitude over the years.
Many experienced and talented international players struggled to cope with the need to win every domestic game and competition and eventually moved to a less demanding environment.
Still, Fashion Sakala, the Zambian striker who scored his first goal for the Ibrox club in Sunday’s 1-1 1-1 against Motherwell, is accustomed to carrying the hopes of millions on his young shoulders and is not in danger of falling. .
The 24-year-old, bought by KV Ostende in Belgium this summer, is one of the few footballers in his country to play professionally at a high level in Europe and is therefore a hero at home.
His compatriots began receiving broadcasts of Rangers games on national television after his move to Glasgow, and now religiously tune in to his outings on behalf of Gowan.
Sakala is determined not to disappoint her fellow Zambians and devotes herself completely to her profession every day to make them proud.
“Where I come from, I’ve been a role model for a lot of people,” he said. “It’s something that has helped me keep going. People didn’t think there would be a football player out there.
“I’ve reached this level and I’m still going. I believe I have to be disciplined and I have to persevere to work – and work very hard – so I’m going across the country in my field. I keep inspiring many people.
“It gives me more courage and confidence to work hard as this model in my country for a long time.”
Sakla said: “It’s a big responsibility and I think it helps me. If I didn’t see it as a responsibility I might have done wrong and didn’t work hard or be positive.
“So I feel like the responsibility I have on my shoulders keeps me on a positive straight line, to keep moving forward and keep working hard.”
Sakala, who is looking to start the Premier Sports Cup quarter-final against Livingston at Ibrox tonight, has already gone through enormous hardships in his short career so far.
He left Zambia for Russia – where temperatures were 60 degrees cooler – when he signed for Spartak Moscow in 2017 at the age of 20. He could not make his way through the first team of the season he spent there. However, he believes this difficult experience will help him in his life with Rangers in Scotland.
“I think I’ve gone through a lot considering my journey to get here,” he said. “But I’ve always tried to stay positive and work hard.
“It has been a difficult journey. But at the same time I am very proud of it and things are bright and positive. I always believe that there is more in the future. I just have to keep working hard and stay positive.
“I just believed in travel. When I was young, when I went to Russia, it was very difficult to just look at the weather. It was hot in Zambia and minus 20 degrees in Russia this time. So it was very cold and it was difficult for me to go from 40 degree to minus 20.
“It was a big cultural change, but at the same time, I was trying to be very positive. I went there with three players from Africa. The rest kept complaining about the weather. But I stayed positive and worked hard and Went to Belgium and it was a perfect move.
“I thought it was the right time to go to Russia because maybe if I had come straight to Scotland I would have complained about the weather too. But I’ve been to Russia and it’s a little easier to come to Scotland than that. Moscow was an excellent move. ”
Rangers have had disappointing League Cup and Scottish Cup records in recent years; In the three seasons in which Gerard has been at the helm of Ibrox, he has not managed to win any of them.
His supporters are delighted that James Tavernier and his team-mates can build on their Premiership win last year and win more trophies in the months to come.
Sakala, whose preferred position is striker but who can also be positioned as a winger, is eager to help him in any way he can and welcomes Steven Gerrard’s side waiting to receive the silverware.
“Even before I signed for Rangers, I knew and followed Rangers,” he said. “Before I made the decision to sign, I knew the challenge I was facing was the challenge of pressure. There is a lot of pressure to win. It’s something I love. It makes me work harder. pressure to do.
“The manager is very positive about this match. The mission is always to win trophies here, that’s something we all really want. So I will be very happy if we are able to win the first trophy after coming here.
“It’s a very important game for us, but we are all very positive. We can’t wait and I think we will get a good result.”
A draw with Motherwell helped Rangers rise to the top of the Premiership standings over Hibernian and Hearts, but Sakala understands anything less than a win is acceptable.
“I know the fans have been disappointed, but we’re pretty sure we’re giving them what they want,” he added. “We know what they want. They want us to keep winning. It’s their love for the club. The only thing that can make them happy is winning matches. And I believe we will do it for them.” . ”
“Fashion Junior was speaking at the Premier Sports Cup event. Premiere Sports is available on Sky, Virgin TV and Premiere Player. Prices £1. starts with2.99 per month. “
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