ALLY McCoist claims he has never once regretted taking on the major rebuilding job at Rangers after clinching the Irn-Bru Third Division title at the weekend.
The Light Blues boss famously stated he would not walk away from the Ibrox club when they were plunged into administration in February last year.
He remained true to his word by standing by the ailing Glasgow giants through liquidation and demotion to the bottom tier of Scottish football.
McCoist admits the journey back to the top has been a challenging one so far but, with the first stage of the recovery now complete, he insists he is as committed to the task as ever.
He said: “In any job, particularly in any football coaching or managing job, there are times that are tougher than others and that has been the case this season.
“But I’ve never once thought ‘What have I done here? What have I got myself in for?’ The vast majority of people know just how important the club is to all of us.
“It was never going to be plain sailing all the time. There are going to be tough obstacles on the road and it’s how we handle them. We will handle them fine.
“We all know where we want to be, where we want to get to.
“And we all know the amount of hard work it will take to get us there - but we are well up for it.”
Rangers fans have hotly debated whether the latest championship success should be added to the club’s world record 54 titles tally or should be regarded as a stand alone honour as a result of its lower league status.
McCoist’s own view on the issue was clear when he stated: “It’s definitely title 55 - I don’t think there is any doubt about that.
“In terms of major championships, it’s not one of those. But you can only win what’s in front of you and I hope it’s title 56 next year.”
With job done in the Third Division, McCoist has promised a big improvement next term after admitting some results and performances were not up to standard in the basement division.
He said: “It’s pretty much mission accomplished.
“I fully appreciate, towards the end of the campaign, that performances certainly dipped a little bit. There is no doubt about it.
“There were one or two reasons for that and the injuries and suspensions we had didn’t help.
“When we set out at the start of the season, the main objective was to win the league and get out of the division and that has been accomplished.
“Can we do better? Yes. Will we do better? Yes.”
He added: “What we achieved this season is the first step in our long road to full recovery.
“You have to start somewhere and it has started, thankfully, but we’ve still got a long way to go. We know what’s required.
“Having played here for 15 years, and been here for another six or seven on top of that, I know as well as anybody what’s expected at this club in terms of standards, results, performances, achievements.
“I know what’s required and I will continue to strive, along with the staff here, to get those levels of consistency and achievement back up.
“It won’t be easy but it’s a challenge we are really looking forward to.”
A transfer embargo means Rangers must wait until September 1 to register free agents and are unable to buy new players until January 2014.
But, having stressed the importance of bolstering the squad at his disposal, McCoist revealed further talks regarding reinforcements took place over the weekend with chief executive Charles Green.
He said: “We’ve got an enormous list of players in all positions with a view to bringing to the club. We definitely need to freshen up the personnel.
“The boys this season have completed the job, and done it well, but we need to move on.
“There is a list of players and Charles is very aware of it. We have spoken on numerous occasions and we spoke over the weekend as well.
“It’s just a matter of getting the right people in to help and to add to the squad that we’ve got here.”