MARK Venus will plea to Middlesbrough’s players to stimulate the home support against Doncaster Rovers tonight (kick off 7.45pm).
Venus takes charge following Tony Mowbray’s departure this week and his pre-match messages were firmly centred around the instructions to give the crestfallen Boro supporters something to get excited about.
As opposed to Mowbray’s footballing knowledge that he would reel out during his press briefs, Venus chose to focus on his players only, insisting that they have responded well with the tumultuous week.
“The squad have been great, they’ve worked really hard for me,” Venus insisted to BBC Tees.
“All I’ve asked for them to do is to work hard, do what I’ve asked them to do and they’ve done it.
“Even when the gaffer was here, to a certain point the team were really hard working in their daily work.
“I think senior members are massively important at any football club and that’s something that is integrated into ours.
“I want them to use the experience of how many appearances they’ve made.
“They have to show more responsibility than the younger guys and that’s one of the points which has been put over to them.
“From the footballing side point of view, I just want the players to make each other proud for what they’ve done on the pitch in the ninety minutes. That’s all that matters in my mind.
“We’ve got to get everyone knowing that we’re trying hard.”
The game will be marked by a “Spirit of Teesside” theme, designed to increase the atmosphere at Riverside and a crowd approaching 20,000 is expected.
It is therefore deemed necessary that Boro amend for their recent failings in front of a frustrated faithful.
“I have no expectations from the crowd,” Venus said.
“I know the crowd have experienced the last period of results which haven’t gone for them.
“I know this is their football club, I know they support this club and I know if the players bond on the pitch, they’ll respond with the players.
“The bottom line is we have to make the fans respond to us, they don’t have to respond for us.
“I don’t believe we’ve played terribly all season, I think every team we’ve played against have shown a sense of wariness towards us and I don’t think Doncaster will be any different.
“We’ve just got to be better than we have been.”
Defender Daniel Ayala joined on a three-month loan from Norwich in midweek and could be set for his debut in the Sky Sports-televised game.
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