JONATHAN WOODGATE has described how “super proud” he was to have led his hometown club into the opening game of the new season, which turned out to be a thrilling six-goal draw at Luton Town.

After last season’s frustrations had left many Boro fans disappointed and bored by the football served up at times under Tony Pulis, Woodgate’s promise to entertain started with a bang at Kenilworth Road.

Middlesbrough led and then fell behind, before reclaiming the lead and missing a penalty to complete the win, only then to concede a late equaliser to leave Luton with a point to start his managerial career.

It was the sort of match that provided the perfect opener for the new campaign and was served up in front of the television cameras too.

Woodgate, 39, was always desperate to put on a decent showing for the Middlesbrough supporters, and those fans got behind him from the moment he walked across the pitch before the game.

“The Boro fans were fantastic. I am super proud, I am humble to be the manager of this football club,” said Woodgate, whose playing career seen him play for a number of clubs including Real Madrid.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling when you can see your players running the extra yard for you, really grafting, showing energy and playing the way I want to play. I thought we were excellent.”

Middlesbrough went ahead inside six minutes when Ashley Fletcher headed in. Luton, though, responded by taking the lead themselves courtesy of Sonny Bradley’s stunner being followed by Martin Cranie’s close-range header.

Britt Assombalonga pulled Middlesbrough level again before the break before a Lewis Wing curler from 25 yards put the visitors back in front with 21 minutes remaining.

Assombalonga would have won it had he not missed the target with a penalty with eight minutes remaining, and then James Collins levelled matters a few minutes later to send the Luton fans home satisfied.

Woodgate said: “It was unbelievable, what a game. What a game of football. It was eventful, especially in the second half, we really went out to win the game. I thought we were excellent, especially how we controlled it in the second half.

“We pressed high, we left ourselves a little open, that’s how I want to play. I want to press teams, score goals from day one.

“We will work hard, we have players to come back in. But I want to talk about the game, I loved it, I absolutely loved it.

“At half-time I told them to press higher and to play. We were hitting too many balls in the first half, that’s not me I want to play. It’s important they got on the ball, control the game. We controlled it better in the second half.

“I want to score goals, without question. We need to tighten up at times, but I said all along we want to score goals and I want to win games. Tonight we got a draw but I thought we should have won. It was exciting and I loved every minute of it.”

But Woodgate wasn’t going to be critical of £15m man Assombalonga for missing the spot-kick. He said: “Britt, it’s one of those things. Britt will take the next one and score, if he misses that one he will score the next.

“He is a No. 9 and I have a lot of confidence in Britt Assombalonga. He is going to score goals all season. He was disappointed, it’s my job to lift him and too right I will lift him. I will back him all the way.”

There are claims Middlesbrough have made a £2m offer for Anfernee Dijskteel and are close to agreeing terms with former Tottenham and Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton, who is a free agent.

But Woodgate, who had said he felt there would be more new signings in before the trip to Luton, said: “I was expecting it (deals), things don’t always turn out. I am sure they will before it shuts. It’s still bubbling away. Hopefully I will have more news on Monday and numbers in the door.

"I don’t want to talk about players associated with other teams. I know Alan Hutton isn’t but I would like to leave that confidential. We are in for players but I don’t want to disrespect other managers.”