Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Altidore Focused on Bigger Picture; We Have Some Bad Luck Right Now - Jozy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Altidore Focused on Bigger Picture; We Have Some Bad Luck Right Now - Jozy

Article excerpt

JOZY Altidore has urged Gustavo Poyet not to be distracted from his rebuilding job at Sunderland by the threat of relegation, writes STUART RAYNER.

With one point from their first seven games, and already six adrift of Premier League safety, Poyet will start his top-flight managerial career at Swansea's Liberty Stadium under pressure to prolong it into next season.

But American striker Altidore believes his main job is simply "building a good team" from the wreckage of Paolo Di Canio's "management by hand grenade", and that more pressing needs should not interfere with that.

"I think it kind of stunts (a team's development) when you're trying to build something because the pressure of staying in the league," said Altidore, who was relegated at the end of his season-long loan at Hull City in 2009-10. "Every year there are different types of teams in the Premier League just trying to stay up.

"If we can just focus on building a good team and try to leave the rest of the stuff out, it will be good for us. Hopefully the new manager can help us do that."

Di Canio spent pre-season trying to reshape his Sunderland squad and build them around a style of football designed to get the ball forward quickly. At Brighton and Hove Albion Poyet favoured a more deliberate passing approach mimicking that of Barcelona. At his unveiling last week, Poyet suggested he would not try to change everything at once - a wise move considering he will not meet eight members of his squad for the first time until they return from international duty on Thursday.

But clearly appointing the Uruguayan was not a quick-fix by owner Ellis Short, something Altidore obviously hopes his fellow American understands. Altidore was speaking to the official Major League Soccer website after his fifth goal of the season helped USA to qualify for the World Cup finals. …

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