Middlesbrough duo Stewart Downing and Yakubu won the plaudits from boss Gareth Southgate after the 1-0 home win over Newcastle United.
Downing put in an excellent display after recent struggles with England, while Yakubu headed home the only goal of the game five minutes from time.
Afterwards, Southgate said: "Stewart did what he does week in, week out for us and I think if someone had finished one of his crosses for England the whole perception would be different.
"Stewart is much loved here and when he is positive he is a massive, massive asset.
"He would be seen as the same for England if those chances which have been missed had been scored."
Of Nigeria striker Yakubu, Southgate added: "We have worked on his heading with him since the start of the year in the most basic of ways and it was nice to see some reward.
"Set-pieces so often change matches in these sorts of games."