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Altidore: Black Cats have enough quality to survive
HIS first taste of Premier League action may have ended in defeat, but Jozy Altidore insists he has seen enough to suggest Sunderland won't be involved in another relegation battle this season.
Despite a summer of significant change stirring up optimism on Wearside, Paolo Di Canio's Sunderland revolution didn't get off to the start supporters had hoped for after they went down 1-0 at home to Fulham on the opening day of the campaign.
The defeat came courtesy of Pajtim Kasami's second half header in a game that Sunderland dominated, but Di Canio's men showed a lack of conviction to capitalise on their fair share of possession.
Altidore, one of ten new senior signings to have arrived during the close season, led the Black Cats attack in the absence of Steven Fletcher.
The 23-year-old insists the squad will work hard to put their mistakes on Saturday right, but believes there were plenty of positives to take out of their performance.
"We started positively, played good football but we let ourselves down with one stupid mistake and that cost us," Altidore said.
"The coach didn't say too much after the Fulham game, he was quiet. to play like that and come away with nothing is disappointing for us all.
"We'll take it upon ourselves to work on that and improve. I've already seen enough to know we've got a lot of talented players here and we'll be alright this season."
The Black Cats travel to Southampton on Saturday hoping to put the Fulham defeat behind them and Altidore has fired a warning to Mauricio Pochettino's side ahead of their meeting at St Mary's.
He said: "It is what it is. the greatest thing about football is that there's always another game to quickly follow. We got done by a sucker punch today and there's no other way of putting it, it really sucks.
"We'll go out onto the practice pitch, work hard and hopefully take our frustrations out on Southampton. there's no hiding the fact this is a bad result, but the team played positive football and if we play like that this season we'll be fine. You've got to take the positives from that.
"I thought we played well for most of it and now we've just got to right the wrongs of it next week against Southampton."
Altidore will also be looking to open his Premier League account on the south coast and he admits it was disappointing not to follow up an impressive display for his country with another goalscoring performance at the weekend.
The New Jersey-born striker only scored once during a season-long loan spell at Hull City in 2009, but after scoring a hat-trick in the USA's 4-3 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina last week, Altdiore is confident he can be a big hit in the Premier League.
"I was on a real high coming into the match after the hat-trick for the US team but walked off the pitch very disappointed at this result.
"I'm confident I'm going to score goals in the Premier League, I'm a striker so yes I'm going to score goals. I don't set myself targets but I'm expected to score goals and that's what I'll do.
"If we keep playing like this I'm going to hopefully score a lot of goals. This is a team that will create chances for me.
"When I came over here last time, I was just 18 and had no experience of European football. Since then I think my record speaks for itself. The Premier League itself feels just the same as four years ago, it's just as tough and fiercely high tempo and intense with a tremendous atmosphere. For me, it's the best league in the world."
Having watched his side fail to cause Fulham problems in the final third, Di Canio revealed he will prioritise a move for a creative midfielder ahead of a new left-back.
However, reports in Italy suggest the Black Cats are on the verge of signing Juventus defender Paolo de Ceglie after they missed out on Valencia's Aly Cissokho, who is Liverpool-bound.
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