Everton boss David Moyes praised the performance of striker Yakubu after his first goal of the season gave the Toffees victory over Stoke.
The Nigerian struck a fierce drive into the roof of the net in the 67th minute to give his side three points to move into the top half for the first time this season.
Yakubu has been a much-maligned figure this year, with many criticising his lack of fitness and effort in games, and was rumoured to be set to move on over the summer.
However a good performance from the 28-year-old got its reward, and Moyes hailed the player's boost in work-rate as a catalyst for ending his goal drought.
"It's been a while since our strikers have scored goals but I thought Yak's goal was terrific, his finish was terrific and I thought the introduction of Louis Saha helped as well," he said.
"If we can get them in the form they're capable of then although we have a good team I think it'll make us even better.
"I think sometimes confidence comes from hard work and the effort you put in and the supporters appreciate it as well as the staff and players.
"The one thing I'll say about Yak is I think his efforts improved and because of that his performance has improved and I'm sure his goals will come like they did today."
Moyes admitted that his team played sluggishly in the first half, but paid tribute to his player's performance after the break, as well as Stoke for their dogged showing throughout.
"I don't think anyone's going to play Stoke City and not get a hard-fought game," Moyes added.
"We'd showed bit of patience but I thought our play was a bit slow and we didn't show a great deal of speed in our passing and I wanted it to be upped in the second, and it did do.
"We got better in the second half I felt, they're a really tough team to beat and I'm pleased we got the three points today."
Yakubu was also delighted to get back on the scoresheet, insisting that he felt he deserved to get a goal and recapture the form that persuaded Moyes to buy him from Middlesbrough for £11.25million back in 2007.
"I feel good today, I've been working so hard and haven't had the chances to score," said Yakubu.
"Today to score goals as a striker makes you feel really good and it'll give me more confidence.
"I think I deserved to score goals today and I'm really pleased about it.
"I think this is much better than last season, I'm back to the Yak I used to be."