Kit Symons hopes to seize his chance as Fulham manager after being appointed permanently following a spell as caretaker boss at Craven Cottage.
The 43-year-old, who had won five of his nine games in temporary charge, was handed the job full-time on Wednesday.
"It's no secret this is a club that is very close to my heart and this is a job I've always really wanted to do," he told BBC London 94.9.
"To get the opportunity is fantastic and I intend to take it fully."
He added: "This is the first step. Now we need to up our levels again, where possible, and try and drive it on now."
|Kit Symons' record as Fulham caretaker|
|Played: Nine Won: Five Drawn: One Lost: Three|
Symons spent three years with the Whites during his playing days and following his retirement he returned to the club to coach the academy and under-21 teams, as well as carrying out scouting duties.
When the Welshman took over Fulham on 18 September following the sacking of German Felix Magath the club were bottom of the Championship table.
Since then Symons has picked up 13 points from a possible 21 on offer and the west London side are now three points above the relegation zone.
"It's something new and different for me to be full-time manager," he said.
"I'd always hoped for it and thought I went about my business in the right way. I've done a lot of different jobs and done my apprenticeship.
"I've been ready for a little while now."
Fulham chairman Shahid Khan had appointed a five-person committee, which included former players Danny Murphy and Brian McBrde, to assist him in his search for a new manager.
The American billionaire said Symons "has met and exceeded expectations" during his spell as caretaker boss.
"Kit's performance speaks for itself," said Khan. "His passion for everything that Fulham represents came through loud and clear.
"The committee were charged with coming up with a group of candidates, interviewing them and then recommending a couple of people.
"The interest we had in the position was overwhelming but Kit is the only one I've spoken to and the only one I offered the position to."
Symons is Fulham's fourth permanent manager since Khan bought the club from Mohamed Al Fayed in summer 2013 - but the chairman is convinced the club's future is bright.
"Results speak for themselves and the environment, mood and spirit have improved for the better," he said.
"I want to thank the Fulham supporters for bearing with us and standing by us. Better days are ahead for all of us."