Steven Gerrard outlines the Fashion Sakala ‘difference’ that led to Rangers striker scoring hat-trick in Motherwell rout

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has predicted trouble ahead for opposing defences after Fashion Sakala lit up his slow-burning Ibrox career with a hat-trick in the 6-1 win over Motherwell at Fir Park.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard celebrates in front of the travelling support at Fir Park after his team's 6-1 win over Motherwell on Sunday. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard celebrates in front of the travelling support at Fir Park after his team's 6-1 win over Motherwell on Sunday. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Zambian international striker Sakala became the first Rangers player to grab a treble since Jermain Defoe two years ago as the Scottish champions stretched their lead over Celtic at the top of the Premiership to four points.

It was only a fourth starting appearance for Sakala since joining Rangers from Belgian club Oostende but Gerrard feels the 24-year-old is now ready to score goals on a consistent basis for his team.

"Fashion has been waiting to do that,” said Gerrard. “He's shown glimpses and flashes. We've been waiting for him to settle and to get ready.

"He's been away from his family for some time but we've seen the difference in him over the last week to 10 days where he's looking extra sharp, extra hungry. He's gone and delivered for his team today.

"It takes time. He's got to get used to his team-mates, they've got to get used to him. He's got to get used to the way we play the game, both sides. He's got to earn that trust on the training pitch.

"But it just felt different in the last week to 10 days. He showed that in his cameo against Aberdeen in midweek where he came on and helped us get back in the game. Today at times he was unplayable.

"He’s got that unpredictability about him and that sheer burning pace. He's going to cause teams and individuals a lot of problems.”

Gerrard was hugely satisfied with Rangers’ biggest win of the season so far, despite having to come from behind after conceding the first goal in a game for the ninth time in the campaign when Bevis Mugabi put Motherwell ahead.

James Tavernier equalised before the hosts were swept aside by Sakala’s hat-trick and goals from Glen Kamara and Kemar Roofe.

"It was really emphatic,” said Gerrard. “I thought we played with real quality. Obviously we got off to another setback early on but I thought we dealt with that and managed it really well.

"We showed great character to get ourselves back in a good place before half-time. Then we just went on.

"I think that's been coming. It's almost been in the post. We've been waiting for that performance for some time. I thought it was back to our identity and how we wanted it to look for sure.

"You've got to have belief and trust in your players. You've always got to be honest with them and I always want to be as honest with them as I can.

"At times we haven't been ourselves this season. There's always been an ingredient missing.

"But today is all about the players. They've gone out and performed ever so well.

"There is a saying in life - 'inch perfect'. I thought we were an inch away from being perfect today. All round, we were superb.”

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