Sunderland news

Gus Poyet backs Jozy Altidore

January 25, 2014
By Kristan Heneage | ESPN FC

Sunderland manager Gustavo Poyet is determined to end Jozy Altidore's barren form in front of goal.

Jozy Altidore
GettyImagesJozy Altidore of Sunderland (R) shields the ball from Kyle Storer of Kidderminster

Altidore, 23, joined the Black Cats from AZ Alkmaar in the summer after netting 31 goals in all competitions last season. Scoring his first Sunderland goal in the 4-2 League Cup win over MK Dons in August, the United States international has netted just once in the Premier League this season, during the 4-3 home defeat to Chelsea in December.

Handed a start in Saturday's FA Cup third round tie against non-league Kidderminster, Altidore endured another goalless 90 minutes as the club secured a narrow 1-0 win thanks to an early strike from Charis Mavrias.

Asked after the game if he felt his striker was suffering from a lack of confidence, Poyet replied: "I think it's a little bit of everything. In the first half he was going to the near post and the ball it was going to the the second [far post]. It was going to the near post and he was going to the second [far post].

"In the second half he was a close to a couple of actions. I thought it was a great opportunity on goal for him to score a few but it didn't happen so we'll see.

"From the moment I've been here it's the first time [Mavrias and Altidore] played together. There is something that you need to know about your teammates, but we'll try to put it right."

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