Heat is on Rangers strikers as Roy Makaay delivers teaching masterclass to those left

All for one and one for all. Rangers’ leading marksman may be absent but Fashion Sakala insists the club’s remaining three musketeers have the firepower to keep their title push on track.

Rangers striker Fashion Sakala (left) tussles with Aberden's Dean Campbell during the 1-1 draw between the sides at Pittodrie last week. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Rangers striker Fashion Sakala (left) tussles with Aberden's Dean Campbell during the 1-1 draw between the sides at Pittodrie last week. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The Scottish champions will be without top scorer and talismanic front man Alfredo Morelos for their next three Premiership fixtures against Livingston at Ibrox on Wednesday night, Ross County in Dingwall on Saturday and the Old Firm clash at Celtic Park next midweek.

While Morelos is on World Cup qualifying duty with Colombia, the onus will be on Sakala and his fellow forwards Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten to help Rangers maintain or extend their four point lead over Celtic at the top of the table.

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The Zambian international is confident that the collegiate approach they share can ensure they rise to the challenge.

Fashion Sakala celebrates his goal in Rangers' 3-1 win over Livingston in the last meeting of the sides in November. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

“We are always there to push each other in training and games,” said Sakala. “Whether you are on the bench or starting, the good thing is we are always there to motivate and encourage each other.

“That’s what I like about us as a group of strikers. We don’t really do things as a competition, but we all try to work together and help the team.

“It’s very important for us to deliver against Livingston tomorrow. It’s always sad when some players are not part of the squad.

“We will miss him (Morelos) for sure, he is a special player for us. But we have to deliver. It is our time and we have to help the team and get the result.

“I think we are all ready and prepared for the game. We are all prepared to give the boss what he wants and to get the result that the fans want tomorrow. We are all ready for the fight.”

Sakala has scored six goals for Rangers since joining them from Oostende last summer, including one in the 3-1 win over Livingston the last time the sides met in November.

The 24-year-old feels his game has continued to improve since Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s appointment as manager that month. Sakala has particularly enjoyed the one-on-one input he has received from first team coach Roy Makaay, the former Bayern Munich and Dutch international centre forward who has special responsibilities to work with the strikers.

“It’s always nice to work with people like Roy Makaay,” said Sakala. “With his experience, I’ve been learning a lot.

“He is always there for me, giving me individual sessions after training – shooting, dribbling, stuff like that. I’m having a very good time with him and I’m very happy to have him in my career.

“It’s a great honour to work with those kind of people and I believe I will learn a lot from him.”

The Rangers fans will see a new look from the ever-smiling Sakala on Wednesday after he made a long-awaited visit to his barber after scoring in the 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Stirling Albion last Friday. He celebrated by pointing to his head and has revealed why.

“I promised the fans I would only cut my hair when I scored in 2022, so it was a special goal,” he said.

“It was a good motivation to start the new year! I’ve had it cut and I’m looking fresh, I think you can see!”.

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