Aitor Karanka's return to the Middlesbrough dugout resulted in a happy ending to a turbulent week as David Nugent's stoppage-time header saw off fellow Sky Bet Championship promotion hopefuls Hull.
Having walked out last Friday following a stormy meeting with his players, and failing to smooth over the bust-up the following day, it looked like the former Real Madrid assistant manager's days on Teesside were numbered.
However, having watched the loss at struggling Charlton from afar, Karanka surprisingly returned to his role as head coach this week and on Friday oversaw a memorable late win as substitute Nugent saw off Steve Bruce's men 1-0 at the death.
Both sides came into this match looking to kick-start stuttering promotion tilts, which had seen Boro fall to three defeats in last four outings and Hull winless over the same period.
The Riverside encounter started energetically enough, but it tapered off with Cristhian Stuani's header and a Robert Snodgrass strike the best either team could muster.
Hull started the second period brightly but the hosts weathered that storm and, just as the match was petering out, Nugent glanced home, sending the Riverside into raptures as Karanka and his staff jumped in celebration on the touchline.
It made for an exciting end to an otherwise forgettable match, ahead of which the Boro head coach used his programme notes to express his relief that "everything has been made clear" and that the club could move on.
The visitors made changes of their own in a bid to eke out a winner and the substitutes almost combined for the opener, with Abel Hernandez blocked and then Ahmed Elmohamady lashing over. Konstantopoulos also kept out a hopeful Robertson header.
Hull captain Michael Dawson impressively blocked Nugent, but the substitute was not to be denied for long.
As the match entered stoppage time, Albert Adomah swung in a cross that Nugent steered home to send the Riverside wild.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce has been impressed by Middlesbrough and says the club deserve success in the future.
Boro narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier League last season, losing to Norwich in the Championship play-off final.
But speaking ahead of his side's match against Middlesbrough, Bruce said would like to see the club back in the top flight.
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has held his pre-match press conference ahead of Boro's trip to Championship leaders Hull City on Saturday.
Speaking ahead of the game, the Spaniard was full of praise for Hull and their manager Steve Bruce.
Middlesbrough's trip to Championship leaders Hull City 'will be a good test', according to Head Coach Aitor Karanka.
Boro, who are just one point below Hull in the table, travel to the KC Stadium on Saturday.
Hull City boss Steve Bruce is 'one of the best managers in the Championship', according to Middlesbrough Head Coach Aitor Karanka.
The Spaniard will go head-to-head with Bruce on Saturday as Boro travel to the KC Stadium to face the Championship leaders. Speaking ahead of the game, Karanka was full of praise for his opposite number.
Bruce has been shortlisted for October's Championship Manager of the Month award.
The reality of Sunderland's relegation battle can wait a while longer: fans are dreaming of another trip to Wembley, The club could book their place in the semi-final - which is played at Wembley - if Gus Pouyet's team win at Hull in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Sports Correspondent Simon O'Rourke reports.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce says his side's 2-0 win over former club Sunderland was "no sweeter" than any other victory.
Bruce spent two-and-a-half years as Sunderland manager before being sacked in November 2011.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet gives his analysis of Hull City ahead of tomorrow's Premier League match at the Stadium of Light.
Hull City manager Steve Bruce says he's looking forward to this weekend's trip to former club Sunderland.
Bruce spent two-and-a-half years as manager at the Stadium of Light before being sacked in November 2011.
Aitor Karanka says Middlesbrough must give "120 percent" in order to beat Hull City in their FA Cup Third Round clash at the Riverside on Saturday.