Sunderland's start of the season has been solid yet unspectacular, winning once, losing once and drawing three times as Gus Poyet's side look for something to kick start their season. They may have been handed it in tonight's Capital One Cup tie with Stoke City.
Last season, the Black Cats used the cup competitions to generate momentum for the Premier League season, and it helped them to no end as they claimed wins over Chelsea and Manchester United to keep themselves in the top flight against all the odds.
Tonight, it was one player in particular who received a timely confidence boost. American striker Jozy Altidore may have smashed 51 goals in just 93 games for Dutch side AZ Alkmaar, but he's found life in England much more difficult. Just two goals in 38 games last season did little to justify his £6m transfer fee, and he started this season without finding the back of the net either.
After 30 games without a goal, the drought didn't look like ending any time soon. Yet he was handed the start against Stoke City tonight, and he repaid Gus Poyet's faith by finally finding the back of the net in the 16th minute of tonight's Capital One Cup game.
The United States international looked relieved upon hitting his goal, and celebrated with team mates as his long wait for a goal was finally ended.
Sunderland fans will now be hoping that the 24-year-old can regain some confidence after his strike, but it wasn't enough to take Sunderland into the next round of the competition as a Marc Muniesa brace gave the Potters the win on Wearside.