FORMER Hartlepool United defender Mark Venus has been put in temporary charge at Middlesbrough.
The Seaton Carew man has worked as the number two to Tony Mowbray over the last three years – Mogga having been the longest-serving manager in the Skybet Championship until his sacking yesterday.
Venus has been the right-hand man to Mowbray at Hibernian, West Brom, Celtic and Boro and would be expected to work with him again in his next job.
His loyalty to Mogga would probably rule him out as a candidate for the Boro job.
However, chairman Steve Gibson will ask the 46-year-old to get the team ready for Friday night’s Championship match with Doncaster Rovers at the Riverside.
A statement on their official website read: “Middlesbrough Football Club have today announced that manager Tony Mowbray has left the club with immediate effect.
“Assistant manager Mark Venus will take charge of the team until further notice.
“The club would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Tony Mowbray for all of his substantial efforts, dedication and integrity.
“He leaves with the very best wishes of all at the club.”
Mowbray, the former West Brom and Celtic boss, has been unable to guide Boro out of the Championship in his three seasons in charge.
He finished 12th, seventh and then 16th last season, while things are panning out little better during the current campaign.
Boro have won just two of their opening 12 league games – and only five in the whole of 2013 – and lie 16th in the standings.
They went down 3-2 at struggling Barnsley on Saturday.
Mr Gibson has acted following a woeful first half at Oakwell, a game which he attended.
Boro were three-down at half-time and had to listen to fans chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” before a much-improved second-half performance.
That flourish seemed to have saved the Saltburn-born 49-year-old, who took training as usual at Rockiffe.
But the chairman met Mowbray late yesterday afternoon and, with a heavy heart, parted company with the club legend.