David Nugent headed a stoppage-time winner to give Middlesbrough a 1-0 victory over Championship promotion rivals Hull City that lifted the club back into the top two after a turbulent week.
Boro had head coach Aitor Karanka back in the dugout after the Spaniard missed last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to struggling Charlton Athletic following a training ground row.
The 42-year-old said he “never wanted to leave” after resuming his duties on Monday and certainly seemed delighted to be at the Riverside Stadium when experienced striker Nugent settled a tense affair in the 91st minute.
On for Jordan Rhodes, Nugent netted his eight goal of the season with a finely executed headed from Albert Adomah’s cross.
Middlesbrough are two points ahead of third-placed Brighton and Hove Albion, who travel to MK Dons on Saturday, while Hull are a further two points back in fourth.
Steve Bruce’s side are now winless in five Championship matches and were left to rue sub Ahmed Elmohamady volleying over after Abel Hernandez’s initial effort was blocked shortly before Nugent stole the points.