Jozy Altidore has called on Sunderland’s supporters to give the team time to gel under Paolo Di Canio.
The USA international is one of eight new signings at the Stadium of Light ahead of the new season and is not expecting fireworks immediately.
During his previous spell in the Premier League, Altidore scored once in 28 Premier League appearances for Hull City. However, after frustrating stays in Spain and Turkey, he found his goalscoring form in Holland with AZ.
The 23-year-old netted 38 goals in 67 Eredivisie appearances during his two years at AZ, a record that encouraged Di Canio to bring him back to England.
Sunderland’s pre-season has seen them win twice, including a victory over Tottenham in the Asia Trophy, and that has encouraged Altidore that they will not be fighting relegation this season.
“I think the supporters should be excited but patient,” he told the Northern Echo. “A lot of the guys we’ve bought in have come from a lot of different football cultures and different styles.
“The Premier League is famous for being a fast-paced and exciting league and it will take an adjustment, for sure. They (the fans) should be patient about that but it’s right they’re excited, because I think this is a team they can be proud of.
“At the same time, you can never replicate a league game. We’ll need the league games and a certain number of them to make sure that we really get our feet under the table.
“Guys who’ve come from Switzerland, Portugal, Italy – it’s a different league and they will need their time to get used to what it is like playing in the Premier League. From there on I think they will bring out their own qualities.”
Sunderland were only able to find the back of the net 41 times last season, with only QPR scoring fewer goals in the top flight.