Caretaker boss Danny Pugh refused to rule himself out of the running for the Port Vale job following their 3-0 victory at home to Grimsby.
The Mariners were sunk by early goals from Shaun Brisley and Devante Rodney, with Luke Waterfall’s second-half own goal capping a miserable day for them.
Vale coach Pugh, who took over following manager John Askey’s sacking this week, ended a six-game winless run in his first game in charge and had nothing but praise for his players.
“I’ve been asked to look after the team until further notice and I’ll do that to the best of my ability,” he said. “There will be a lot of people interested in the job but I’ll just prepare for the next game and see where that takes us.
“It’s early days, I know it’s a question I’ll keep getting asked, I have enjoyed this week and it’s a great job. There’s a long way to go but I’m pleased with that result.
“Everyone’s pleased today but it’s not going to be like that every week, we have to keep the standards, keep the momentum and take all the positives.”
Pugh restored David Worrall, Tom Conlon and Tom Pope to the starting side and was especially happy with their contributions, adding: “They came back into the team and made a difference, they’re three big players for us, three big characters, but everyone, from Scott Brown in goal to Popey up front, was outstanding.
“All the credit goes to the players, they were outstanding, every single one of them. They have been brilliant since I took over on Tuesday and I haven’t got a bad word about them.”
Meanwhile, Grimsby boss Paul Hurst challenged his players to add a touch of steel to their game, insisting they cannot be a soft touch if they are to play their way out of relegation trouble.
Hurst, who recently returned as manager after four years, took some positives from their defeat, but was damning about his team underperforming in critical moments.
“It’s about what happens in both boxes and we have to be far better when we haven’t got the ball,” he said.
“It might sound a bit silly when we’ve lost 3-0 but I think we had a lot of the play, the stats will probably be in our favour but not the most important one.
“Similar to last week, we started the game better but it was near enough their first attack when we conceded and we ended up finding ourselves 2-0 down at half-time again.
“We started the second half brightly enough but we conceded a poor third goal and it’s game over.
“Our message to the players after the game was that we’ve got to be far harder to play against.
“It’s OK passing the ball, and I’m not saying it was free-flowing football, but we passed it well without really cutting them open and for an away game we did have enough chances to get something from the game in my opinion.”