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Striker Hails 'Ridiculously Devoted' Sunderland Fans

It's fair to say that Jozy Altidore was pretty impressed with the Sunderland support at Old Trafford.

Laurence Griffiths

Jozy Altidore insists that Sunderland's fans are the very best in the business. He is bound to say that, but it doesn't mean he is wrong.

Writing in his regular blog for ESPN (which can be found in full HERE), Altidore said:

Every once in a while, you get the opportunity to be part of something special, something that will stay forever with you.

To say Wednesday's game was thrilling would probably do it a disservice. It was much more than that. You had two clubs going back and forth, taking blow after blow from one another.

And to say our ridiculously devoted and fantastic supporters weren't the loudest group at Old Trafford would be a lie. We have the absolute best fan base in the Premier League and it showed Wednesday when roughly 9,000 fans made the trek to cheer us on, then celebrate with us in our accomplishment.

Obviously, there is always a degree of PR with these sorts of things. Players want to build bridges with supporters and get in their good books, especially those who are struggling to endear themselves to fans on the pitch.

But he is right, though, isn't he. The tickets for Old Trafford didn't even make general sale so you have to wonder just how many could have been sold had it not been for the limit placed on the number.

More than that, though, you just have to look at Sunderland's attendances over the years to see what an incredible job the fans do. This is not a club who regularly win things. In fact, over the last 2-3 years it isn't a club that has won games regularly, never mind honours.

Yet still an average of 40,000 turn up every single season these days and legions travel all over the country. For my money, too many people try to define Sunderland by empty seats. It's the filled ones that matter.

I am not saying that other clubs don't also have great support, by the way. It's not a competition. Just saying that Sunderland's are at least just as good as anyone's, and that will always remain the lifeblood of this club.

And Jozy? Well he doesn't seem to hit the target often so far, but in describing Sunderland's fans as 'ridiculously devoted', he has absolutely nailed the bullseye this time.