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Nov 15, 2013

Fletcher talks up Altidore impact

Steven Fletcher has backed his Sunderland teammate Jozy Altidore, telling the Journal that every Premier League side needs a player in the striker’s mould. 

Jozy Altidore was cruelly denied against Arsenal at the weekend.
Jozy Altidore has struggled for goals at Sunderland.

Randall: When winning is habit

Altidore, 23, has yet to score in the league for the Black Cats since his summer move from AZ Alkmaar, with his only goal coming in the Capital One Cup.

But following the recent showing of support from United States coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Fletcher, 26, has spoken of the strong impression Altidore’s work ethic has left on the Sunderland squad.  

“He set up both goals against Southampton as well as the winner against Newcastle and there is no way anyone should be complaining," Fletcher said. "He is a 100 percent committed player every time and the goals will come. Jozy has settled in really well and he has been doing a fantastic job at the club.

“He is the sort of player who you know every time he goes on the pitch will give everything and that’s the sort of player we need right now. In fact, it’s the sort of player every club needs. 

“Jozy will want to score a few more goals as all strikers do, but they will come. The important thing is he is contributing and in his last few games he has been one of our best and most consistent players."

While Altidore has struggled for goals with his club this season, the same cannot be said about his international record.

And Fletcher believes his teammate’s displays for United States highlight the quality that the striker possesses.  

“His attitude is first class and that’s one of the reasons why he has been such a success at both club and international level," Fletcher said. "His goalscoring record for United States is incredible and that shows what a fine player he is. 

“I think I will bounce off Jozy if I go anywhere near him. Have you seen the size of the lad? He has done well since he joined the club. He has really put himself about on the pitch and his work rate is amazing. I think you have to look at everything he has brought to the club and not look at him purely in terms of goals.”

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