GUS Poyet says he is considering using on-loan Liverpool striker Fabio Borini in a more attacking position as he searches for ways to get Sunderland scoring more often.
The Black Cats’ failure in front of goal was the main talking point of the Wearsiders’ almost totally dominant display over FA Cup minnows Kidderminster Harriers at the weekend.
And the head coach has revealed the time could be approaching when he hands in the in-form Borini the chance to play a more attacking role.
Sunderland improved markedly when the Italian came on shortly after the hour against Kidderminster.
The on-loan Liverpool striker went close to scoring a wonder-goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford last week, and is the second highest scorer behind winger Adam Johnson, the 22-year-old scoring four goals despite starting only 10 games, and often being played in a wide role.
Altidore has scored just once all season despite starting up front, while £12m man Steven Fletcher has mustered just three goals.
And Poyet, after watching his players fail to take more than one of a hatful of chances against Conference side Kidderminster, says Sunderland have to improve their record in front of goal.
“We will work more on our final ball” said the head coach.
“We needed to make the right pass, and the right cross in the box more often than we did.
“We still need to improve our finishing, and a lot of that can be done through practice and coaching, and we need to work on our timing in terms of runs and releasing the ball.”
As for Borini, Poyet agreed: “Playing him through the middle is something we have been considering. It is on our mind.
“He wasn’t involved from the start against Kidderminster because we went for a certain shape, and we put him on the bench because he’d had a few knocks against United.
“We didn’t really want to put him on to be honest, and if we had been more comfortable in the game we would have left him on the bench.
“But we brought him on because we could have done with a second goal, and he improves us in the final third.”
There was sympathy meanwhile, as well as concern for Altidore over his form.
“Jozy is struggling a little bit,” sighed Poyet.
“I thought the Kidderminster game was a great opportunity for him to go on and score a few but it wasn’t to be.
“We will try to put it right.”