MARK Venus has put himself at the front of the queue for the vacant Middlesbrough manager’s job after a “dream” night.
The former Hartlepool United defender was put in temporary charge of Boro this week after chairman Steve Gibson sacked Tony Mowbray after a dire run of form in 2013.
And his first match ended in triumph as Boro crushed Doncaster Rovers 4-0 at the Riverside.
“Last night was a dream, it couldn’t have gone any better,” said the 46-year-old.
“It doesn’t get better than this, does it?”
Any more like that and he may no longer be in temporary control.
But Seaton Carew lad said: “I’m just going to take it day by day and see what happens.
“I’m really pleased for the players, I wish they could have put on that performance a bit earlier.
“They’ve now got to get on with the season and they’ve got to get better.
“We need to improve, we need to keep carving out results, which we will work hard to do.
“I’m just looking forward to the next game, hopefully.”
Despite his brilliant start, he remains cagey over his own chances.
He said: “The chairman (Steve Gibson) will do what he thinks is best for Middlesbrough Football Club and while he’s doing that I’ll work hard to get the best out of these players for him.”
Venus insists his pressing desire is simply to lift the team and the area.
“I hope last night’s result gives everyone a massive boost,” he said.
“I hope we can all grow together, the fans, the club and the players.
“It was a great night.
“The focus of the lads over the last three or four days has been really good and last night they gave a little bit back for everyone and it was about time.”
Summer arrival Albert Adomah scored twice before half-time with another Mowbray signing, striker Kei Kamara, putting the result beyond doubt midway through the second half before loan man Daniel Ayala added a fourth.
The side could have more in front of the 20,000-plus crowd – more than 7,000 up on the previous game.
“I’m just pleased the team gave the fans something to cheer about,” Venus said.
“From my point of view I hope everyone enjoyed watching us and they come back.”
Venus rang the changes in his first team selection, including a back four of central defenders.
“I just picked a team which I thought could get a result,” he said.
“If I hadn’t have got it right, I’m sure questions would have been asked.
“I’m pleased it went right.
“There were a few nerver moments but if you go on clear-cut chances, we had comprehensively more than them.
“I think we deserved our win and the key to it was everyone did their jobs and worked hard for each other.”
Only eight minutes had gone when Kamara caught Doncaster cold with a scooped through-ball into Adomah’s path.
The Ghanaian winger raced forward and his first touch saw Ross Turnbull beaten by a sublime chip.
Adomah made it 2-0 nine minutes before the break.
Local lad Richard Smallwood, recalled to the starting side, tried his luck from distance and, while his lobbed shot was on course to beat the backtracking Turnbull, Adomah made sure with a bullet header.
Kamara ended any hopes of a comeback when Grant Leadbitter’s set-piece found him at the far post and while the finish was unceremonious, the Riverside crowd rejoiced.
Doncaster had been convincingly beaten, but Spanish defender Ayala needed to make sure.
Leadbitter provided the killer cross again in the 83rd minute and Turnbull threw his hands up in despair after the Norwich loanee nodded home with a minimum of fuss.