Michael Beale knows there could be short-term pain. He will sacrifice personal gain for long-term glory.

Rangers fans need no reminding of the perils and pitfalls of the January transfer window and the memories of the punts on Aaron Ramsey and Amad Diallo will still send a shiver down the spine of those that will brave the cold in Kilmarnock this evening. Beale is determined he won't fall into the same trap 12 months on.

The Englishman could have been forgiven for attempting to front load the Ibrox investment and take his chances with players who had only signed up for the second half of the season. Beale does, after all, have a Premiership deficit to cut and two cups to win between now and May with a squad that is injury ravaged and in need of a helping hand.

But such a strategy would leave him on the back foot for the summer window and that is when the real work and the proper rebuild will be undertaken. Rather than a botched fix while the roof is leaking, Beale has a blueprint for a brighter future and a better Rangers.

A move to sign Todd Cantwell, the Norwich midfielder, is progressing. No bid has been made for Morgan Whittaker of Swansea and Everton's Tom Davies was never a target as Beale seeks to add quality rather than quantity this month.

In personal terms, the strategy carries a degree of risk. Yet Beale knows the team, the squad and the club must be foremost in his thinking as he attempts to deliver silverware in the here and now and lay the foundations for sustained success at Ibrox.

"I made a rod for my own back there saying no loans because there is some quick fixes," Beale said. "But I don’t think that is right for the club long term.

"That would be saving myself, if you like. I could go and get some quick fixes that make my record a bit stronger between now and the end of the season but don’t take Rangers any further forward and actually, in the short term, probably costs us quite a lot of money.

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"When you are in charge or you are one of the people in control in terms of making those decisions at the club, you have got to think of the betterment of Rangers longer term.

"I know the journey we have been on. I know how fast we want to get there, which was yesterday. We are not there so I need to try and make some solid decisions."

The next fortnight will see Beale's masterplan judged as deals are done. His strategy will then be played out in the coming months as Rangers prepare for the Viaplay Cup final and seek to return to Hampden if their Scottish Cup tie at McDiarmid Park can be won this weekend.

Beale couldn't afford to write off the remainder of the campaign when he was appointed as Giovanni van Bronckhorst's successor as manager. He has inherited the issues that afflicted the Dutchman and it will take time for Beale to really make his mark.

"It is fair to say, in this window, there are some very, very interesting loan players available," Beale said. "But there are 17 league games left, 18 if you count the cup final, 19 if we are guaranteed to beat St Johnstone and maybe three or four more. I think the squad we have now is capable.

"If we bring in three or four signings for the long term that are good players I am delighted. But the short term thing I am not really sure what it does for us.

"Of the uncertainty of players out of contract, what squad am I coming back with pre-season? I always think you are building, always building.

"You need to win tomorrow but you are building and building and building where you want it to go. So you want to know who is in the building with you."

The focus continues to be on players that will arrive at Ibrox before the close of business this month and Beale does not expect any of his first team players to leave. As he pointed out, the 18 he selected against Aberdeen on Sunday was all that he had available to him.

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He has stressed the need for starters rather than squad players and would never overlook those who are his rivals in the Premiership. He concedes, though, that it is 'feisty' in this country, even away from the Old Firm, and that there is 'a little bit of spite in the water' as he talked up the abilities of Scottish players.

The likes of Josh Doig and Lewis Ferguson could once have been targets for Rangers and Beale cannot afford to write off the market that is on his doorstep as he prepares to mould the Ibrox squad in his own image.

"Not at all," Beale said when asked if rivalries get in the way of recruitment. "The player has got to live it. It comes down to ‘is it the right fit?’

"Anyone that’s got an opportunity to go and play for another club, to leave the club where they are a good player, they want to ask certain questions around playing time.

"If I was to meet another young player at a club in Scotland, the first question they want to ask is ‘am I going to play in your team?’

"We have a particularly strong team. Sometimes that’s a reason why a player doesn’t sign."

The deals that Beale sanctions and that Ross Wilson, the sporting director, is able to complete will go some way to defining Rangers' immediate aspirations and shaping their future ambitions.

Beale's hand has been strengthened by the returns of key players in recent weeks and that situation will only improve in time. That is the dream scenario and Beale must remain cognisant of all the factors that feed into where Rangers are and where Rangers are heading.

"It does [sound like a strong squad] and I think that’s where I’ve got to try and look at the bigger picture," Beale said. "I’ve got to be eternally optimistic but at the same time be a little bit realistic as well. Are people going to come out and be the same player?

"This first six months in the job, till the end of the season, is about setting everything down, getting some results, putting some positivity back in the club, recruiting well in the two windows and becoming a stronger Rangers moving forward.

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"Albeit, in this period, trying to win as much as we can in terms of individual games and the trophies that are there. There is no magic wand is there?

"You come in and you try to be really calm and level-headed about the decisions you make. I’ve been delighted with everybody. We have had some tough games.

"Our schedule coming up is tough as well. But the boys at the moment are giving me everything. Do I want more? Yes, but when I was here before, and we won a league unbeaten, I went away that summer wanting more because we only won the one trophy."