Altidore still confident despite Sunderland drought

POWERFUL ... Sunderland's Jozy Altidore.
POWERFUL ... Sunderland's Jozy Altidore.
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JOZY ALTIDORE insists his confident has not been affected by the wait for a first Premier League goal in red and white.

Summer signing Altidore has drawn a blank in six top flight outings for Sunderland, albeit he saw a ‘goal’ controversially ruled out in last month’s defeat to Arsenal.

The American international opened his account for the Black Cats in August’s Capital One Cup win over MK Dons, but has failed to find the net in the following four Premier League encounters.

But Altidore has been pleased with his overall contribution since his £6million arrival from AZ Alkmaar and believes his barren run inevitably stems from Sunderland’s troubles at the foot of the table.

“Any player is a product of the environment,” said Altidore.

“If we’re playing good attacking football, you’re always going to have opportunities to score goals.

“I don’t change my mentality or the way I play.

“I feel like I’m playing well at Sunderland. We just have some bad luck right now, but I feel like I’m playing well and doing things right.”

Altidore hopes the arrival of new head coach Gus Poyet will spark a change in fortunes for him and Sunderland after the Black Cats’ return of just a solitary point from the opening seven games.

And the 23-year-old admits it will be beneficial for Sunderland to concentrate purely on their football again after a chaotic few weeks with the dismissal of Paolo Di Canio and then the hunt for a new man in the dug-out.

“I think it kind of stunts you when you’re trying to build something because the pressure of staying in the league,” he said.

“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.”

Altidore has suffered no problems in front of goal on the international stage after netting his eighth of 2013 for the USA in Friday’s 2-0 victory over Jamaica.

But despite that return, Altidore was critical of his own performance against the Reggae Boyz and ahead of tonight’s clash with Panama, he remains wary of the battle to secure a place in Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup squad.

He added: “I think I had a really bad game (against Jamaica). I didn’t hold the ball well, so that kind of hurt the team a bit.

“I just want to play whenever I can to get to Brazil. That’s my whole focus.

“Nobody’s (place) is given. I just want to do my part to make sure I’m on that plane next summer.”