Bradford coach Francis Cummins had the play-offs in sight after his Bulls side ended a run of six defeats with a tense 19-12 win over fellow top-eight hopefuls Hull.
The victory - only the Bulls' second in 11 games - leaves them a point adrift of Wakefield and two behind the eighth-placed Black and Whites.
Cummins said: "The players have shown a lot of heart, especially as we were down two players, having lost John Bateman (ankle) in the first half and Tom Olbison (knee) in the second.
"It wasn't pretty but we got the job done.
"We found ourselves stuck in our own 20 metres for what seemed like two weeks in the second half and we had to find a way to win the game.
"When you have a bad run you sometimes try and play things a little too safe. But that fight is there and they showed it tonight."
Cummins praised huge Kiwi prop Manase Manuokafoa, adding: "'Nas' has got the size and he's getting a bit more game time - I thought he was great against Wigan. The other week too - he really battered them."
Hull have now lost five league games on the trot and coach Peter Gentle reflected on the impact of four games 19 days.
"We had plenty of ball in the second half but the execution wasn't there - maybe it's fatigue?" Gentle said.
"We were brain dead at times and your head is the always the first thing to go when you are fatigued.
"It was an opportunity for us to get our season back on track but we missed it."
On next week's cup semi-final against Warrington, he added: "It has to be a distraction - everywhere we go people are talking about it - but it's not an excuse."