081413_isi_altidorejozy_130814fek_bih_usa_71 Fedja Krvavac
Direct from Sarajevo

Altidore Eyes Strong Club Start After Hat Trick

Wednesday's hat trick hero had an excellent night after some tactical changes by Jurgen Klinsmann. As Graham Ruthven reports, the Sunderland new boy hopes he can leverage his hat trick into a bright start with his new club.

BY Graham Ruthven Posted
August 14, 2013
8:02 PM
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina—After scoring a hat trick in a 4-3 win over Bosnia, Jozy Altidore gave his critique of the USA’s performance, concluding that playing with two strikers in the second half changed the team’s attitude.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side trailed 2-0 at halftime after a slack performance before switching to a two-striker system after the break, sparking an impressive comeback in which the U.S. netted four times in just more than 30 minutes.

Speaking to ASN in Sarajevo the Sunderland striker gave his thoughts on the win, explaining what changed in the second half.

“Personally speaking it doesn’t matter if I have someone to play up front with,” he said. “But as a whole, as a team, we stepped up the tempo in the second half. That’s what made the difference. Having two strikers gives everyone the mindset to up their game. But next time we need to do it from the start.

“This is my second hat-trick at international level. My first one was against Trinidad and Tobago, so it’s nice to add another to my name, especially against as good a team as Bosnia.”

While Eddie Johnson initially partnered Altidore up front, Aron Johannsson was given his debut in attack, playing alongside the player he has replaced at AZ Alkmaar.

“Aron was fantastic today,” the striker said of the new guy. “We can all see what he brings to the table. Since the first time I was around him in training, I said this guy is a fantastic player. When I heard he was American I told him straight away he would be a huge asset for us, and that he should come play for us.

“You can see from his first game how good he is. He has great ability to see a pass, create space for himself and others, and playing alongside good players always makes your job easier”

Sunderland kicks off its Premier League campaign against Fulham on Saturday, and Altidore hopes his performance for the national team can provide the perfect platform for him to make an impression in the Northeast of England.

“I’m excited to get the season going,” he said with a smile. “Scoring a hat trick before the first game can’t hurt and I want to carry that form into my club side.

“Tonight was a tough game, with a lot of the European guys coming in from pre-season, but I think we put in a good effort today. We did well to come back from the number of errors we made early on and against a very good team. Bosnia are an exceptional side, so this is a great win for us. It’s encouraging.”

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