Sunderland manager Gus Poyet admits that Jozy Altidore is 'struggling' at the moment, but has vowed not to give up on the striker.
Altidore has found goals hard to come by since his summer move to Wearside, and his form has slowly disintegrated since early promise too, culminating in a pretty hapless display against Kidderminster in the FA Cup fourth round.
Like everyone else, Poyet is finding the situation impossible to dismiss, but plans to work with the American. He told the Sunderland Echo:
Jozy is struggling a little bit.
I thought the Kidderminster game was a great opportunity for him to go on and score a few, but it wasn't to be.
We will try to put it right.
In many ways, I do have a little sympathy for Altidore. He was signed in the summer to play a very specific system that was all about getting the ball forward quickly to a front two. It was a similar system that he found so much success being a part of in Holland.
What he is being asked to do now, though, is almost the polar opposite. Now he plays up front on his own whilst possession football is being played behind him. I am not convinced that he understands the demands and responsibilities of the role at all. But he possibly could - in time.
Time may not be on his side, though. Nacho Scocco is looking likely to arrive this week, and Poyet has also admitted he is considering the option of deploying Fabio Borini in a central role:
Playing him [Borini] through the middle is something we have been considering. It is on our minds.
I'd personally be very much against moving Borini from his current position, though. His work rate without the ball is incredible, and his movement coming in from the flank is aligning very well with Johnson's left foot from the right. That combination is looking a very good one at the moment.
Options, and stuff, but I'd not be giving up on Altidore yet. He could probably do with some time out of the firing line, though.