Altidore ready to battle

On-loan striker Jozy Altidore admits his long-term Hull future is

far from decided but insists he and the rest of the squad are fully

committed to the club’s relegation battle.

The United States international, on a season-long loan from

Villarreal, has yet to score in 15 Premier League appearances.

He does, however, seem to be finally settling in the team and

his partnership with Craig Fagan in last night’s 2-2 draw at Bolton

showed glimpses of promise.

“It’s been a whirlwind, up and down. I knew what the

challenge of Hull was going to be like and I have accepted that,”

said the 23-year-old.

“It is not easy, we are always underdogs and it is tough to

play.

“I am definitely going to take something away from here in

terms of being a better all-round player.

“I think the willingness and attitude of the players is

something I need to learn and I am happy I am learning it now.

“Hopefully I can take it with me in the future.”

The point at the Reebok, thanks to two Stephen Hunt goals in

the last 19 minutes, did little for Hull’s quest to lift themselves

out of the Premier League’s bottom three but it undoubtedly boosted

confidence.

“I think it was huge for morale, for everybody in the locker

room and the supporters as well,” said Altidore.

“We couldn’t let this game slip away. When we were 2-0 down I

think the will of the supporters and the leadership of the guys

like Nicky Barmby and George Boateng helped us.

“Any time you go 2-0 down in the Premier League, it is a

tough way back no matter who you are playing.

“To see that we can come back is a good sign. Hopefully we

can continue that in the new year.

“It is a new season now for us – 19 games and there are a lot

of points available.”

Manager Phil Brown was delighted with the character his side

showed to claw their way back into the game.

He knows they will need to show all of that and more as Hull

have a tough month ahead of them with matches against three of the

current top four.

“A lot of people are making reference to January but the only

reference I’ll make is that Jimmy Bullard will be back (from a knee

injury) at some stage,” said Brown.

“You could easily say that Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester

United are on the horizon so no points from those three games but

that is not the way we are thinking.

“I think the team spirit and the commitment of these players

has been epitomised by the performance after the second goal went

in.

“I said to them in the teamtalk that you can easily measure

workrate but how do you measure togetherness and commitment and I

think I got a fair measurement in the second half.”

Brown also praised Hunt for his performance which brought two

goals and took his tally for the season to five – all in the

Premier League.

“He has always contributed goals throughout his career. He is

not just an assist man, he has chipped in,” said the Tigers boss.

“He certainly did it in his days at Reading in the Premier

League and he seems to be doing it quite nicely for us.

“He gives us a good balance on the left-hand side. His

attitude epitomises our second-half performance – he never says

die, he never gives in and he is never beaten.”