THE END of Jozy Altidore’s 10-month goal drought has put the striker firmly in contention to make his first Premier League start of the campaign this weekend.
But Altidore is not shouting the odds over keeping his place in the starting XI against Swansea. There are no thinly-veiled barbs at beating Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham in the race to lead the line tomorrow.
Given the selfish streak which inevitably runs through the blood of strikers, Altidore speaks the language of the ultimate team player.
After netting the opener in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup defeat to Stoke City, Altidore will come into Gus Poyet’s thinking against the Swans, with none of Sunderland’s frontmen yet to find the net in the Premier League this season.
But with Fletcher and Wickham both expected to be available after shaking off the knocks which kept them sidelined in midweek, Altidore will leave the decision-making in Poyet’s hands.
Altidore told the Echo: “I hope Fletch gets fit again and he can help us because up top we have some good players.
“These things are difficult.
“I think Connor has done very well. He’s come a long way in a very short space of time. I’m proud of him.
“I think he’s deserved his opportunity.”
While Altidore is coy on his hopes of starting tomorrow, he readily admits that Sunderland need to end their search for a maiden Premier League victory of the campaign over the next eight days.
A modest return of four points from the opening five games has left Poyet’s side fourth from bottom in the early-season top flight table.
But with Sunderland facing back-to-back Stadium of Light encounters against Swansea and Stoke, Altidore says the Black Cats must make the most of home advantage.
“It’s fair enough to say that we should win one of these two games,” added the American international.
“We’re at home and it’s got to the point where we need to be winning games.
“I think one of these two, we have to look at.
“If we can do that, the table will look better and a bit more relaxed.”
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