FASHION Sakala has revealed that he was convinced he was going to take a penalty in the Europa League final shoot-out against Eintracht Frankfurt and was devastated to be replaced by Aaaron Ramsey late on.

However, Sakala has insisted that Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst made the correct decision putting on Ramsey even though the Juventus loanee missed the decisive spot kick and the Ibrox club lost the game.

The Zambian internationalist replaced Scott Wright in the 74th minute of the match against Eintracht at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville back in May.

However, Van Bronckhorst took the forward off with three minutes of extra-time left and put on Ramsey because he thought the experienced midfielder would be better placed to net from 12 yards.

The Welsh internationalist was the only player not to convert his penalty – he had his attempt saved by Kevin Trapp and Oliver Glasner’s team won 5-4 to lift their second European trophy.

Sakala spoke about the Europa League final for the first time earlier this week as he looked ahead to the start of the new season and confessed it had been a tough experience. 

“To be honest, it feels like two days ago,” he said. “It is one of the things that you can’t just get off your mind. It was nice to get to the final, but you can’t help thinking: ‘What if we won it?’

“That (being a substituted substitute) was difficult and obviously very frustrating. But I just took it the way it was because I respect the decision of the coach.

“To be honest, I didn’t (think he was going to get replaced). I thought I would play the full game. I was one of the players to take the penalties so I wasn’t even thinking of coming off.

“I am one of players on the list to take penalties so I was so sure that even if the game goes to them I would be there because I am on that list.

“But when the coach decided to make the change, I respected that. In fact I, thought we would maybe get the result because of his changes. He has made some changes in games when we were down and then have got the result.

“So I was thinking maybe there is something I wasn’t clear about and he was thinking: ‘We can change this and get the result’.

“I think the strategy was okay. He always makes changes that affect the game so in that one is a little bit difficult. It just was not our day, but the changes he made were not the reason why we lost the game.

“Because it was penalties it looks like, oh the player who came on missed the penalty, but for me it just was not our day.”

Sakala added: “I felt like he made the right decision. I didn’t just look at the situation in a negative way because the player missed the penalty. I was also thinking what if he scored and we won the cup? Obviously that would have been very nice.

“But, yeah, as a player, you always want to play. The desire is to play all of each and every game but at the same time, you respect the decision of the coach. When he makes some changes then you have to respect it.

“I wish I did (take a penalty). But I think he (Ramsey) was the right person to take it. It was unfortunate that it happened like that and he missed. But he was the right person to take it because we always have the list of players who are going to take penalties.”