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Poyet Praises 'Important' Striker

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Gus Poyet has praised Jozy Altidore for his 'magnificent' display against Newcastle.

Chris Brunskill

During the 3-0 away win at Newcastle United at the weekend, Jozy Altidore had arguably his best game for Sunderland. Despite not scoring he outmuscled Steven Taylor and Mike Williamson time and time again, while leading the line superbly.

Unfortunately he couldn't find the back of the net, with his best chance coming when he was one and one against Tim Krul but the Dutch goalkeeper gathered the ball when Altidore attempted to take it around him. Gus Poyet was sympathetic to the big American for missing that opportunity, praised the rest of his derby display and backed him to come good;

Jozy had a magnificent game at the weekend. I was so sad that he didn't score that chance. They practically gave it to him!

But I said to him in the dressing room, 'Now you know how important you are, and you can feel it'. If we keep winning, his goal is going to come. But his performance was one of the biggest and most important points for us.

Poyet then mentioned how strikers who are going through a barren patch often become too selfish and credited Altidore for continuing to put the needs of the team above his desire to break his goalscoring drought;

It's difficult, because I know strikers. I played with a lot of strikers who were top scorers, and when they didn't score for a while, they would not pass the ball to you - they would shoot from anywhere because they wanted to score.

He is not doing that, which is great and a credit to him.

You do get the feeling that once he gets one goal, Altidore's confidence in front of goal will improve and a few more will follow but getting him that goal is proving difficult and something Poyet is looking to fix;

Somehow, we need to try to get him a goal. Maybe we need to beat the keeper and give it to him to tap in.

The 24-year-old will get a great chance to get on the scoresheet when his former club Hull City are the visitors to the Stadium of Light at the weekend.