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Match report: Middlesbrough 1-0 Hull City

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.

Middlesbrough's David Nugent celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough. Credit: PA

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.

Middlesbrough's David Nugent and Ben Gibson celebrate victory after the Sky Bet Championship match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough. Credit: PA

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.

Middlesbrough's David Nugent (top) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with team-mate Adam Clayton during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough. Credit: PA

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.

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Bruce 'one of the best', says Boro boss

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.

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