Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Poyet Still Believes in Altidore's Abilities; Poyet Has Belief in Shot-Shy Altidore

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Poyet Still Believes in Altidore's Abilities; Poyet Has Belief in Shot-Shy Altidore

Article excerpt

GUSTAVO Poyet has re-stated his belief in Jozy Altidore, but hinted he might find himself in a straight fight with Steven Fletcher for a place at times this season, writes STUART RAYNER.

The USA international's only Sunderland goal came in a League Cup tie at home to Milton Keynes Dons. Altidore's only Premier League goal to date came in a 2009-10 loan spell at today's opponents, Hull City.

Despite his struggles, Altidore retains the backing of his coach.

Poyet said: "I believe in Jozy for different reasons.

"One, because I have been with him for two weeks now, I've seen him training, how strong he is and how much he wants to score.

"He did absolutely antastic tactical work for us against Newcastle, which sometimes you don't realise but it was important for the team in terms of shape and organisation.

"I would like to see him sometimes on his own up front - a proper, main striker. Not only with Fletch (Steven Fletcher), maybe in another game.

"I always say for a striker to score, especially with the characteristic of Jozy, he needs to have a quality of finishing but then we also need to provide and create. It's not like you put him on the pitch and say, 'Go on Jozy, score 20 this season'.

"We haven't created enough chances for him to score goals yet this season. It is a 50-50 responsibility - the team and Jozy himself. "I saw him this week and he looks happier. He is delighted with the win (over Newcastle United on Sunday) and that he played and felt important in the team. I don't want to put any pressure on him against Hull but Turn to soon and then everything will change I suppose.

It's about that confidence strikers need." Altidore was on the bench for Poyet's first game in charge, a 4-0 defeat, as the Uruguayan opted for a 4-2-3-1 formation. For his second Sunderland reverted to a 4-4-2 and celebrated their first league win this season, 2-1 over Newcastle. Yet Poyet has admitted his more direct tactics had a lot to do with the Magpies. …

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