Sunderland star Altidore ready for 'really big' Tottenham test

Jozy Altidore will be looking to make his first start of the season against Spurs, with a tough game ahead.

The 24-year old has forced his way back into contention for a first-team spot, having recovered from a hamstring sprain suffered at the beginning of the season.

With strikers Connor Wickham and Steven Fletcher yet to have found the net this season, the recently appointed US captain is aware that a good performance will allow him to guarantee first-team football - with head coach Gus Poyet yet to choose a starting number nine.

However, the forward has to make his mark in a tough game, with Spurs travelling to the Stadium of Light on Saturday - coming off the back of two victories in three games. Whilst the North London club conceded three times in their last outing, with Liverpool the grateful team, they kept clean sheets in their first two games, and have looked impressive under new head coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Altidore has not failed to notice Tottenham’s strong start, and he is aware that a tough game awaits the Black Cats - despite having secured a 1-1 draw with Manchester United prior to the international break.

Speaking to the Shields Gazette, Altidore said: “I think this will be a really big test for us.

“It’s good that it’s at home, but it’s a stick to see where we’ve come and where we’re going.

“I’m excited and the boys are up for it.

“Nobody wants to get into the rut of last season at home, so hopefully we can get points against Tottenham.

“They’re a good team, but I believe we can get the points.”

Having been part of the Sunderland side who miraculously retained their top flight status last season, the forward is well aware that form can change in an instance, and that it is important to have everything together for every match.

“It’s just about it coming together.

“We saw last season what can happen when it comes together, so we all need to believe in that.

“But these are the hard times, especially for the fans, because they want to see the team be successful right now.”

The hard times the fans are under may be alleviated slightly if Altidore - who scored just one Premier League goal last season - can help lead the Black Cats to victory over their top flight rivals.

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