WHEN Steven Davis walked out of Ibrox for the final time in the summer of 2012, he had no idea if he would ever be back. Or what was about to unfold at Rangers.

The club remained close to his heart but he had to watch on from afar as he established himself in the Premier League and became captain at Southampton.

He always hoped he would get the chance to pull on the shirt of his boyhood heroes once again. Now, he has done just that.

The passing of time has eased the pain but not the anger amongst supporters as they recollect the events that led to Rangers having to rise through the leagues as a host of multi-million stars headed for the exit door.

Davis, like so many of his team-mates, had to think of himself at that stage. But the chance to return seven years on was one the Northern Irishman was always going to grab.

“You never really know how football is going to work out, but it was in mind for sure, that I might get the opportunity to one day come back,” Davis said.

“Things don’t always work out the way you want them too which is why I am so happy to be back. As soon as I heard Rangers were interested I just wanted it done.

“It was a great period for me personally and a great period for the club with all the trophies that we won. Obviously the aim is to get the club back to winning trophies of a regular basis.

“The boys have put themselves in a great position but we know there is a lot of work to do in the second half of the season.

Celtic have been worthy champions in the last few years, now it’s up to us to show we can do it.

“I haven’t been back to Ibrox since I left, I always wanted to, I always hoped I would get back. With my schedule down south the opportunity never really presented itself.

“I’m really excited about walking back out [at Ibrox], it will probably be a bit emotional.

“When you leave the club you never really know if the opportunity will come around again so I can’t wait to walk back out at Ibrox. The games are coming thick and fast and I can’t wait to get started.”

Plenty has changed at Ibrox since those dark days of 2012 and the future is looking brighter for Rangers once again with Steven Gerrard at the helm.

Allan McGregor clinched his own return in the summer and has quickly established himself as an integral part of a side that reached the Europa League group stages and moved level on points with Celtic with Old Firm victory last month.

Davis has agreed an initial six-month loan deal from Southampton to re-join the Light Blues. Rather than thinking of the past, he is looking forward to the future.

“If you said to anyone that that scenario would unfold they would have found it hard to believe,” Davis said.

“Nobody in a million years expected to find themselves in that situation and it’s easy to say you would have done this and that.

“It was a difficult time for everyone. The fans just want to see their team doing well on the pitch.

“Greegsy for example has come in and made a huge contribution. I know from my time here before that the fans would and expect 100 per cent commitment.

“I can’t wait to show the fans again what I’m all about, I want to help the team and make an impact. No one needed to sell Rangers to me because I know what it’s all about.”

The return of Davis came just hours after Rangers announced the signing of Jermain Defoe as the Light Blues sent out an early signal of their intent for the second half of the season.

Supporters are now daring to dream about a potential Premiership title triumph, while a Scottish Cup success is firmly within their sights this term.

“I am delighted to be back,” Davis said. “It was important for me to get myself to Tenerife and get with the boys as quickly as possible.

“I wanted to see how the manager works too because you want to hit the ground running following the winter break.

“It is something that has been talked about for a while so I’m happy to finally get it over the line.

“It’s good time to be back because I think since the start of the season there has been a lot of positivity around the club.

“The boys did superbly well in Europe and they were very unfortunate not to qualify from their group.

“The league form has been good too and, of course, it was all topped off with that win over Celtic. That has given everyone at the club a huge psychological boost.”

Davis would collect eight major honours during his four-year spell under Walter Smith before he made the move to St Mary’s and started the next chapter of his career.

The progress that Gerrard’s side have made in a short space of time is encouraging but Davis knows as well as anyone how Rangers will be judged come the end of the campaign.

Davis said: “The first trophy for any new side is always massive, it was the same when he won our first under Walter during my first spell here.

“The boys are really pushing under the new manager because we all know it’s been a while since the club won a major trophy.

“All trophies are special so I don’t think they would be better than any of our past achievements but of course the next trophy is always the most important one and we are well aware of what it would mean to the fans.

“It would be nice to come back and help the club achieve that, but it’s not just me we are all here working hard to do that.

“Winning that trophy will be a big moment for the club and that’s what we are pushing for. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us.

“The demands at this club are huge and that’s what makes it so different. You need to be prepared to get on the ball and fortunately for me that’s a huge part of my game.”