Sunderland manager Gus Poyet says that Jozy Altidore must do something special if he is to break into the team at the Stadium of Light.
The American striker has had to play a peripheral role this season, often being utilised off the substitutes' bench, and Poyet has challenged him to make more of an impact if he is to become a regular starter.
“He’s our player and he needs to do something special for us, and for himself," Poyet said to the Chronicle. "As a manager I’m going to use Jozy. It will be a surprise for a few. I’m not saying I’m going to use him on Saturday, but I’m going to use him in a nice way and I’ll use him because we need him."
The USA international has been linked with a move away from the Wearsiders because of his lack of opportunities.
The likes of Burnley and Lille have both been linked with the powerful forward, while a number of sides back in his homeland have also been interested.
However, Poyet insists that Altidore remains part of his plans and no discussions have taken place about his departure.
"There have been plenty of rumours that Jozy’s agent was coming, but I’ve not seen him yet, he’s not been here," he said.
Altidore moved to Sunderland back in the summer of 2013, but he has failed to have the desired impact ever since joining the club.
The striker was expected to be the main-man to lead the line, but he has found hitting the back of the net a challenge.
Altidore has just one goal in 36 Premier League appearances for the side and he has been part of the reason why Sunderland have struggled to score this season.
The Black Cats have just 12 goals in their opening 12 Premier League fixtures and they will need to start showing more goalscoring threat if they are to start moving away from the drop-zone.