Yakubu happy to miss out on cup.
Having worked tirelessly as Middlebrough's lone striker against Chelsea, Yakubu has described the victory as vindication of his decision not to play for Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations.
Boro's most expensive summer recruit has proven to be their best and his display against the Champions-elect on Saturday was the perfect performance for anyone asked to operate as a one-man forward line.
Few strikers have caused Chelsea as many problems as he did and his second-half strike, when he out-foxed John Terry to make room for his shot, was fitting reward. Yakubu also suggested it had helped convince him he was right not to end his self-imposed international exile.
"That is probably the best game we have played since I have been at the club," said a striker whose 16 goals this season should not be wasted in the bottom half of the table. "It just shows we are capable of doing when we have our players fit.
"It reminded me of a lot of the games I used to play at Portsmouth. I played up front by myself a lot there and I had to do the kind of things I did against Chelsea.
"I am used to it and when the manager told me I would be doing that again I was delighted. I turned down the chance to play for my country and it was not an easy thing to do. I love playing for my country but there were reasons and now they are in the past.
"It is not really a case of justifying that decision, but a win like this definitely helps. Sometimes you have to make hard decisions and stick by them. I am confident that the decision I made was the right one for me and Boro."