HE was one of a wave of world-class foreigners to grace Ibrox during the trophy-laden good times.

But Arthur Numan is convinced rookie manager Graeme Murty is right to ‘go native’ in the quest to rebuild Rangers and close the yawning gap on rivals Celtic.

The 45-times capped Netherlands international defender, who won 10 trophies in five years at Rangers after his £4.5 million move from PSV Eindhoven in 1998, believes a distinctly Scottish backbone will be crucial to Light Blue ambitions.

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Treble-winner Numan is watching with interest as Murty, now permanent successor to Pedro Caixinha after two caretaker stints, places great emphasis on strengthening the core of Scottish and British-reared players.

Numan, ahead of Sunday’s Scottish Cup trip to face Highland League Fraserburgh, recalled how he was helped to adapt to life in the Old Firm goldfish bowl by natives like Barry Ferguson.

The 48-year-old said: “You have to give the new manager credit. You could see some stability from the last result against Celtic. With the new signings, the team will only be stronger.

“It’s not enough to have quality on the pitch, you need it on the bench too. That’s the reason they have signed Murphy, Goss and Cummings too. They are good signings.

“Some of the signings Pedro Caixinha made such as the Portuguese and South American players, I had the feeling they didn’t know what to expect in Scotland.

“It was the same when I came in 1998. It is a completely different style. The opposition play at 100 miles per hour and, unlike in Holland, you don’t have time to control the ball and look around.

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“I remember the first time I tried that, I was knocked flat in Scotland!

“Rangers need players who know about Scottish football and that is what we are seeing in this window.”

Numan knows from experience how difficult it could be for the Ibrox squad as they swap the Florida sunshine for a wintry welcome in Fraserburgh this weekend.

Visiting the tiny Highland League ground yesterday stoked memories of a similar scenario from his own Rangers days, one he admitted he now uses while coaching.

Part of the team that went from a Dubai training camp to winning 3-0 at Arbroath in late January 2003, Numan recalled: “I’ll never forget it, because we were in Dubai with the t-shirts on and a few days later we played Arbroath ankle-deep in the mud. We were thinking ‘what the heck?’

“That’s what makes it special in the cup.” 

Arthur Numan was speaking at a William Hill media event. William Hill is the proud sponsor of the Scottish Cup