STAGE one has been completed for Rangers. And former Ibrox idol Marvin Andrews reckons the next level should be completed just as easily.
Winning the Irn-Bru Third Division title this season hardly ranks as one of Gers' greatest achievements, but it was undoubtedly one of their most important as they got their journey back to the top of our game off to the perfect start.
Despite finishing 24 points clear of second-placed Peterhead, it was certainly no walk in the park for Ally McCoist's side, with the bottom division throwing up far more uncomfortable afternoons than he would have hoped for, and more than many would have expected.
Their next task is to win the Second Division and move one step closer to the Scottish Premier League, with the Gers boss well aware that improvements must be made after a campaign that saw pressure build as needless points were dropped.
Andrews has just completed his own stint in the third tier of Scottish football, the 37-year-old unable to prevent Albion Rovers succumbing to relegation and passing Rangers on their way down.
This season has been a culture shock in more ways than one for the Light Blues but their former defender is delighted to see them making progress in the right direction.
Andrews said: "It was never going to be easy in the Third Division and it won't be easy for Ally, the staff and the players in the Second Division either.
"He is dealing with young players, guys of 18, 19, 20 and there are only a couple of players, like Lee McCulloch and Lee Wallace, who have experience.
"It is difficult for the young players, they haven't been in the kind of situation where you have to win every game, they haven't dealt with the expectation of playing for Rangers before.
"They are still learning their trade. It is difficult for Ally but, at the end of the day, they got the job done and won the league.
"People will say what they like but the job has been done. That is what was expected of them and they have done it.
"They might not have done it in the style that people would have wanted them to but winning is winning."
With a season in the SFL under their belts, the waters should not be as choppy for Rangers next time out as they prepare for another voyage into the unknown and a crack at the Second Division title.
Trips to the likes of Annan, Elgin and Montrose this term were a far cry from life in the SPL and more unfamiliar territory awaits in the months to come.
It took McCoist's side several weeks to acclimatise to their new surroundings, but Andrews reckons the know-how gained this term will prove valuable as they bid to complete Stage Two.
He said: "It will be easier for them next season because of their experiences in the Third Division.
"It will not be as big a shock to the team and the fans. This season will have taught them a lot about how to handle going to smaller grounds and using smaller dressing rooms and playing on the kind of pitches that are in the Second Division.
"This season will be helpful for them, they know what to expect now. Most of the players and the staff will know that it will not be a big jump between the Third Division and the Second Division.
"It will be a similar year for them in terms of the teams they play against and the atmosphere.
"I think this season will prove to be a great experience for them and they will be better prepared and wiser to what lies ahead next season." While Andrews was powerless to prevent Albion slipping back into the Third Division, nobody was able to stop Queen of the South romping to title glory as they surged clear of the chasing pack.
The Doonhamers were the first club in the country to wrap up their championship, finishing 25 points clear of Alloa, and Andrews is confident Rangers can follow suit next season.
"The Second Division is a good league to play in, it is very competitive," he said.
"There are some good players and some good teams.
"It is obviously a little better than the Third Division. I don't think there is a big difference between those two leagues. There will be a little difference but it won't be a big jump in terms of the level of the teams and the players.
"If Rangers apply themselves in the right way, there is no reason why they can't win the league comfortably again.
"They will have a stronger and better squad than this year and if everyone stays fit and does what they are supposed to do, I don't see why they won't win the Second Division comfortably.
"We will have to wait and see who Ally brings in and how the team is able to play."