JAMES SANDS admits the words of wisdom from former Celtic boss Ronny Deila were key to his decision to clinch a switch to Rangers.

The American put pen-to-paper on an 18-month loan deal earlier this month as he made the move from New York City to become Giovanni van Bronckhorst's first signing at Ibrox.

Sands lifted the MLS Cup under the guidance of Deila last term and also sought advice from Light Blues hero Claudio Reyna before crossing the Atlantic.

Sands said: "I’m just settling in. Every day I get to know my team-mates a little more.

"Having my first two games under my belt is helpful and I’m just feeling more comfortable here. Everybody has made the transition pretty easy.

"He (Deila) talked to me about what his experience was like at Celtic. He told me about the league and shared some tips.

"I spoke to Claudio Reyna as well because I know him from my time in New York. Those two guys were big influences on the move. I’m happy I talked to them, for sure.

"He (Deila) was really good about it. Having won a trophy with him in New York, that kind of made things a little bit easier. He was always supportive from the beginning."

The signing of Sands has given Van Bronckhorst another option in a congested midfield battle during the second half of the season.

But the 21-year-old isn't daunted by the competition for places as he prepares for his third appearance in the clash with Ross County.

Sands said: "I think it’s a little bit different. In New York and most MLS teams, you kind of have your starting line-up set.

"As long as everyone is healthy, that’s kind of the line-up that the coach will go with. Whereas over here, you have quality throughout the roster.

"So everybody is pushing for a starting spot. It adds to the competition a little bit, but everybody gets better with competition.

"That’s certainly going to help me a lot. Having competition that is older and more experienced will definitely help me out."