Despite recently conceding that he will actively look for a move in the winter if he continues to be confined to the Sunderland bench, Jozy Altidore maintains the he is determined to prove a success at the Stadium of Light.
Altidore was speaking after scoring the opening goal in the US national team’s 1-1 friendly draw with Honduras in front of his hometown crowd in Boca Raton, Florida, which followed an impressive display in last Friday’s 1-1 stalemate with Ecuador.
His struggles at the club level have been well-documented at this point, with the imposing front man finding himself behind both Connor Wickham and now Steven Fletcher in the pecking order in the north east, having netted just once in 34 top-flight appearances.
Latest reports suggest the Black Cats themselves are ready to ship him out in January, but the 24-year-old is adamant that he can now build on a positive spell with Jurgen Klinsmann's side to help get out of his Premier League slump.
‘It is always a nice feeling when you score for the national team but I had all my family here – my cousins from Haiti they came so it was really special,’ he told MLSsoccer.com.
‘I played a lot of tournaments as a kid here on the front fields and it is kind of surreal to be back here. I never thought I would play for the national team here in front of so many people who helped me get to this point, so it was really nice for me.
‘Now I just have to do the same thing I have always been doing, keep plugging away and try to take my chances when they come.
It is not easy, obviously, but it is what it is, the situation I am in,’ he explained. ‘I have nothing negative to say about Sunderland – I like being there, I like the fans, I enjoy the coach, I have a lot of good friends there. It is just about making it work, and if not, then looking elsewhere.’