The new Rangers manager, who will be joined in Glasgow by his former assistant at Motherwell Kenny Black, was realistic in his first press conference in front of the Sky Sports News cameras.
While acknowledging the task at hand and conceding Hearts will win the Scottish Championship, the new Light Blues boss spoke frankly about the teams current form.
His first action was to cancel the player’s usual Thursday day off and get straight to work, an encouraging sign that his actions are already reflecting his words as there is much to be done if Rangers are to gain promotion.
The one time Light Blues central midfielder won a clutch of trophies during his playing days and now needs to make an instant impact at Ibrox to get a promotion challenge back on track.
Finishing in second will be the target for the ex-Motherwell manager, with the complicated Scottish Championship play-off system seeing third place play fourth place, with the winner of that game playing the team that finishes second.
The winner of that match goes on to play a winner takes all final against a team from the Scottish Premiership.
With so many games to be played in the play-offs, finishing second can make all the difference and McCall is aware of the task that has been put in front of him.
He said: “It’s a big, big challenge and there’s no doubt about that. If anyone has seen the side in the last three or four months they’ll know it’s a big challenge.
“But ultimately it’s a massive opportunity and a great honour and privilege to be invited to come in and try and help the club at this moment in time.
“The aim for us this season is to get out of this league.”
The first game under McCall is bottom of the table Livingston, which is a forgiving start before they face Alloa at Ibrox and then visit Easter Road to play Hibernian in what will be a season-defining game.