By Amir Mir
Arthur Numan believes Rangers “can take heart” from the Gers 5-1 win over Celtic in November 2000 ahead of the Old Firm fixture on Hogmanay.
Back then Martin O’Neil’s side were leading the Scottish Premiership by 15 points, but they were thrashed by their rivals at Ibrox.
Brendan Rodgers has led the Hoops to a 14-point lead this season, including winning their last 12 league fixtures.
They play Hamilton and Ross County leading up to the Gers fixture on December 31 and could remain unbeaten by the time they take on Mark Warburton’s side.
Former Dutch full-back Numan believes the Gers can take inspiration from the Old Firm win 16 years ago.
“When we played Celtic in 2000 they came to Ibrox 15 points in front,” said Arthur Numan, as quoted by the Daily Record. “But that counted for nothing because we knew how important it was to win that day.
“Celtic were also on an unbeaten run back then – their best since this season – so I suppose it makes it comparable to this next Old Firm fixture, assuming Celtic remain unbeaten as many expect.
“They can take heart from what we did. Celtic will win the league without a doubt so it would be good for Rangers to give the fans one real highlight of the season and that could be a Hogmanay Old Firm win.”
The Glasgow duo have already played each other on two occasions this term, with Rangers losing out in both fixtures.
Celtic inflicted a 5-1 hammering on the newly-promoted side in September, before knocking them out of the Scottish League Cup semi-final.
Rodgers side went on to lift the trophy and as a result they have remained unbeaten in all domestic competitions this term.
The Scottish Champions are on 49 points from 17 league games, winning 16 matches and drawing just one.
By contrast their Glasgow counterparts are one place behind on 35 points from 18 league games, with ten wins, five draws and three losses under their belt.
Prior to playing Celtic on the final day of the year, Warburton’s side will take on Inverness, before travelling to St Johnstone four days later.
In other Rangers news, this Gers senior figure has been lined up for a plum role in England.