DANIEL Ayala will be assessed to see if he will be able to play again this season after suffering a nasty knee injury during Middlesbrough’s 1-0 win over Hull City at the Riverside Stadium.

Boro ended a run of four straight defeats at home by edging past the Tigers to climb back to within a point of the Championship’s top six.

But the much-needed victory arrived at a cost because Ayala left for hospital in a knee brace following a second half fall after what looked like a clash of heads with Fraizer Campbell.

And with four matches remaining this season, Ayala looks unlikely to be in action again during the promotion run-in.

Pulis said: “Losing Dani is a blow for us. Danny Baath went back in January. Now Ayala, with George Friend missing as well. The gods have not been with us in lots of ways. We will wait and see how Dani is, he has been taken to hospital.”

Pulis felt Middlesbrough created enough chances to have won by more than they did after Assombalonga’s goal, even though Hull created plenty too – including a late save from goalkeeper Darren Randolph when he tipped Kamil Grosicki’s free-kick on to the bar.

He said: “It’s déjà vu, the chances we had first half, we should be scoring more than one goal. It was edgy in the end, they threw balls forward because they have nothing to lose.

“We still had three opportunities to get the second. I think we had seven today where If we hit the target we score. We have done that a lot of times this season.

“The lads should relish playing here, it’s a fabulous stadium, a lovely pitch, but they do get nervous and I don’t know why. Hopefully that gives is the confidence going forward.

“Darren has been brilliant all season. He is a great lad, nothing fazes him. I am pleased with the result, pleased to get a second win on the bounce.”

Hull City bos Nigel Adkins disagreed, and claimed his side should have had a penalty when Robert Jones didn’t blow after Jonny Howson appeared to pull back Campbell.

Adkins said: “How have we not won the game, played well for 20 minutes in the first half and we had good opportunities in the first half, loads of opportunities in the second half.

“I think the referee is going to go to the top of his game but how he has not given the penalty, he has to give it.

“And you can see why Randolph is in the team of the year, he got a finger nail to push it on to the bar and it’s a fantastic save. We have tried everything we can to win a game of football.

“Fraizer had a tap in. Howson came from behind, totally pulled him and unbalanced him. How can he not give that, how the four officials can’t give that? I can’t fault the players, we have had a go, kept going forward, we were adventurous going forward.

“We need to win every game going forward, we have to keep working through the process, and see if we can put ourselves in a position. It’s challenging, you have seen the commitment, it’s pleasing and it’s a shame because we didn’t deserve the result.”