Swapping Leeds United bench role for Bantams promotion bid suits Andy Gray

Andy Gray is relishing game time back at City

Andy Gray is relishing game time back at City

First published in Sport Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Bradford City Reporter

Andy Gray is relishing his second coming at City after admitting his spell with Leeds had been a “waste of time”.

Gray will don the claret and amber against Oxford tomorrow for the first time since February 2004 – and he is desperate to kick-start a campaign that has been mainly spent stuck on the Elland Road sidelines.

The 35-year-old chose Championship football at one of his old West Yorkshire clubs over another after City lost out in the summer. But the chance to stay in the second tier soon soured when he found himself a permanent fixture on the bench.

Gray said: “I knew I wouldn’t be playing regularly when I went to Leeds but I thought I’d get more of a chance than I did. When I’ve come on, it’s only been ten minutes here and there.

“I could have stayed until the summer and sat on the bench but I just wanted to get playing again.

“I felt like I was wasting my time.

“I had quite a few offers last summer with a couple from League One and other Championship clubs but I had my heart set on coming to Bradford.

“It was only when Leeds came in at the last minute and it was Neil Warnock, who I’d played for before, that I decided to go there. But it didn’t happen for me.

“I was coming on quite a bit at the start of the season but (Luciano) Becchio has scored 19 goals and he was the one that I would have replaced if he’d got injured.

“He’s been in great form so it’s not really given me many openings. I’ve spent too much time sat on the bench.”

The faces may have changed completely from his first stint at Valley Parade but Gray has done his homework.

He was in the crowd to see them knock out Arsenal in the Capital One Cup quarter-finals and then watched Aston Villa taken apart the other night.

“They’ve had so many games and it’s fantastic how well they’ve played and been very successful in the cup.

“Ultimately promotion is also the aim and that’s well within the grasp.

“Clubs love coming to Valley Parade because it’s the best stadium in the league and people tend to raise their game.

“We’re there to be fired at but it should be taken as a compliment.”

Parkinson sees his new signing, like Gary Jones, as the ideal example to guide the youngsters in the squad. But Gray, who played at Wembley with Leeds as a raw 18-year-old, reckons they are learning fast.

He added: “I’ll try my best to give them any sort of help but they seem to be doing very well themselves at the moment.

“I remember everybody saying to me when I played in the League Cup final to take it in because it flies by. I heard it on the day of the game and was sat there thinking ‘yeah, yeah’.

“You don’t appreciate it at the time. But you learn to either sink or swim – you either respond to the big occasion or you don’t.

“It’s the same for the young players now. Everything else that gets thrown at them won’t be so much of a problem.”

Comments (11)

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8:09am Fri 11 Jan 13

Solomon Grundy says...

Good player, good signing, might just make the difference in the final few weeks.
Good player, good signing, might just make the difference in the final few weeks. Solomon Grundy
  • Score: 0

8:56am Fri 11 Jan 13

JonnyBantam says...

Should have come last summer but we all make mistakes, sounds like we've done him a favour now so hopefully he'll be even more motivated.
Should have come last summer but we all make mistakes, sounds like we've done him a favour now so hopefully he'll be even more motivated. JonnyBantam
  • Score: 0

9:26am Fri 11 Jan 13

gspot01 says...

He wants to come and play football???? Didn't he think that in the summer because it was quite obvious that he wouldnt get much game time for leeds - smacks of greed to me.
.
I hope i'm wrong but this signing doesn't excite me one bit. I guess he's come in to give Hanson a bit of a rest but is Gray really a target man type player????
He wants to come and play football???? Didn't he think that in the summer because it was quite obvious that he wouldnt get much game time for leeds - smacks of greed to me. . I hope i'm wrong but this signing doesn't excite me one bit. I guess he's come in to give Hanson a bit of a rest but is Gray really a target man type player???? gspot01
  • Score: 0

10:05am Fri 11 Jan 13

DisplacedNortherner says...

gspot01 wrote:
He wants to come and play football???? Didn't he think that in the summer because it was quite obvious that he wouldnt get much game time for leeds - smacks of greed to me. . I hope i'm wrong but this signing doesn't excite me one bit. I guess he's come in to give Hanson a bit of a rest but is Gray really a target man type player????
Have you just skim read the article, and picked out the bits you would like to criticise? He has explained that he thought he would get to play more football?, why is it greed when he was getting paid at leeds?

Going by your name Im sure you find it very difficult to locate excitement anyway. Targetmen don't need to be giants.
[quote][p][bold]gspot01[/bold] wrote: He wants to come and play football???? Didn't he think that in the summer because it was quite obvious that he wouldnt get much game time for leeds - smacks of greed to me. . I hope i'm wrong but this signing doesn't excite me one bit. I guess he's come in to give Hanson a bit of a rest but is Gray really a target man type player????[/p][/quote]Have you just skim read the article, and picked out the bits you would like to criticise? He has explained that he thought he would get to play more football?, why is it greed when he was getting paid at leeds? Going by your name Im sure you find it very difficult to locate excitement anyway. Targetmen don't need to be giants. DisplacedNortherner
  • Score: 0

10:14am Fri 11 Jan 13

allannicho says...

Andy is a class player, reminds me of Ron Futcher at times.
We will do well with this lads play and mentoring.
Andy is a class player, reminds me of Ron Futcher at times. We will do well with this lads play and mentoring. allannicho
  • Score: 0

10:22am Fri 11 Jan 13

Peter300 says...

gspot01 wrote:
He wants to come and play football???? Didn't he think that in the summer because it was quite obvious that he wouldnt get much game time for leeds - smacks of greed to me. . I hope i'm wrong but this signing doesn't excite me one bit. I guess he's come in to give Hanson a bit of a rest but is Gray really a target man type player????
You clearly know little about the player or professional football. I'm sure Phil Parkinson is pleased to have the opportunity to sign Andy again after missing out in the summer. Parkinson knows about Gray and his character from his time at Charlton. You fail to take any of this into consideration and are essentially pitting your ignorance against our manager.
[quote][p][bold]gspot01[/bold] wrote: He wants to come and play football???? Didn't he think that in the summer because it was quite obvious that he wouldnt get much game time for leeds - smacks of greed to me. . I hope i'm wrong but this signing doesn't excite me one bit. I guess he's come in to give Hanson a bit of a rest but is Gray really a target man type player????[/p][/quote]You clearly know little about the player or professional football. I'm sure Phil Parkinson is pleased to have the opportunity to sign Andy again after missing out in the summer. Parkinson knows about Gray and his character from his time at Charlton. You fail to take any of this into consideration and are essentially pitting your ignorance against our manager. Peter300
  • Score: 0

10:26am Fri 11 Jan 13

ever the optimist says...

allannicho wrote:
Andy is a class player, reminds me of Ron Futcher at times.
We will do well with this lads play and mentoring.
Ron Futcher? Nah smaller forehead ha ha.

In all seriousness great signing, can't fault the guy wanting to play at a higher standard, even if it was leeds. Looking forward to Saturday, CTID.
[quote][p][bold]allannicho[/bold] wrote: Andy is a class player, reminds me of Ron Futcher at times. We will do well with this lads play and mentoring.[/p][/quote]Ron Futcher? Nah smaller forehead ha ha. In all seriousness great signing, can't fault the guy wanting to play at a higher standard, even if it was leeds. Looking forward to Saturday, CTID. ever the optimist
  • Score: 0

10:56am Fri 11 Jan 13

gspot01 says...

Peter300 wrote:
gspot01 wrote:
He wants to come and play football???? Didn't he think that in the summer because it was quite obvious that he wouldnt get much game time for leeds - smacks of greed to me. . I hope i'm wrong but this signing doesn't excite me one bit. I guess he's come in to give Hanson a bit of a rest but is Gray really a target man type player????
You clearly know little about the player or professional football. I'm sure Phil Parkinson is pleased to have the opportunity to sign Andy again after missing out in the summer. Parkinson knows about Gray and his character from his time at Charlton. You fail to take any of this into consideration and are essentially pitting your ignorance against our manager.
I'm guessing your his best mate then?
.
Obviosuly Parky is going to happy to get him and if you read my posts I am 100% behind Parky but that doesn't mean I have to be over the moon about all the signings!!!! A bit of honesty has never hurt anybody or do I have to be a moron and agree with everything that happens at our club with 100% enthusiasm even if I dont agree?? OH YEAH WE'VE SIGNED ANDY GRAY AND HE'LL DEFINATLEY SCORE 20 GOALS IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON AND MAKE US THE CHAMPIONS ON HIS ON......is that better?
.
I hope I'm wrong and i'll be the first to hold my hands up but it doesnt excite me. That ok with you?
[quote][p][bold]Peter300[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gspot01[/bold] wrote: He wants to come and play football???? Didn't he think that in the summer because it was quite obvious that he wouldnt get much game time for leeds - smacks of greed to me. . I hope i'm wrong but this signing doesn't excite me one bit. I guess he's come in to give Hanson a bit of a rest but is Gray really a target man type player????[/p][/quote]You clearly know little about the player or professional football. I'm sure Phil Parkinson is pleased to have the opportunity to sign Andy again after missing out in the summer. Parkinson knows about Gray and his character from his time at Charlton. You fail to take any of this into consideration and are essentially pitting your ignorance against our manager.[/p][/quote]I'm guessing your his best mate then? . Obviosuly Parky is going to happy to get him and if you read my posts I am 100% behind Parky but that doesn't mean I have to be over the moon about all the signings!!!! A bit of honesty has never hurt anybody or do I have to be a moron and agree with everything that happens at our club with 100% enthusiasm even if I dont agree?? OH YEAH WE'VE SIGNED ANDY GRAY AND HE'LL DEFINATLEY SCORE 20 GOALS IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON AND MAKE US THE CHAMPIONS ON HIS ON......is that better? . I hope I'm wrong and i'll be the first to hold my hands up but it doesnt excite me. That ok with you? gspot01
  • Score: 0

10:58am Fri 11 Jan 13

Old Dave says...

To be fair to him, he's 35. He knows that the only way is down from here and his career is nearing its end. Going to as club where I'd started, and where my dad and uncle are legends, even if it was to play one game in two, how many of us would do it???

the fact that Parkinson still wants him shows that he sees Gray being an important part of our promotion push. At the moment, based on the last 18 months, I am prepared to say that even when players have had people casting doubts on them, when they have come into the team , they have added something: Think Luke Oliver, Kyel Reid, and especially Will Atklinson.

In Parky we trust!
To be fair to him, he's 35. He knows that the only way is down from here and his career is nearing its end. Going to as club where I'd started, and where my dad and uncle are legends, even if it was to play one game in two, how many of us would do it??? the fact that Parkinson still wants him shows that he sees Gray being an important part of our promotion push. At the moment, based on the last 18 months, I am prepared to say that even when players have had people casting doubts on them, when they have come into the team , they have added something: Think Luke Oliver, Kyel Reid, and especially Will Atklinson. In Parky we trust! Old Dave
  • Score: 0

11:30am Fri 11 Jan 13

Rambo says...

Old Dave wrote:
To be fair to him, he's 35. He knows that the only way is down from here and his career is nearing its end. Going to as club where I'd started, and where my dad and uncle are legends, even if it was to play one game in two, how many of us would do it???

the fact that Parkinson still wants him shows that he sees Gray being an important part of our promotion push. At the moment, based on the last 18 months, I am prepared to say that even when players have had people casting doubts on them, when they have come into the team , they have added something: Think Luke Oliver, Kyel Reid, and especially Will Atklinson.

In Parky we trust!
Old Dave -

In reality, thats about it. The problem with the fans is the LUFC element which they have to get over.

I don't blame him for choosing them, in addition to the family/career reasons you mentioned, its was a chance at the Championship at 35. Whether we as BCFC fans like it or not Leeds are a big puller for anyone. We finished 18th last year.
How many people here would choose us in their relative employment situation?

I said yesterday its a bit like the Thorne situation - he was excellent when he played but he was injury prone, and we wanted him to play every game. It resulted in more injuries. Gray will come, probably not expect to feature in every game but will get more than he did over there.

And also, PP wants players who have a certain mindset and attitude that we've seen during the season. I assume he sees it in abundance in Gray.
[quote][p][bold]Old Dave[/bold] wrote: To be fair to him, he's 35. He knows that the only way is down from here and his career is nearing its end. Going to as club where I'd started, and where my dad and uncle are legends, even if it was to play one game in two, how many of us would do it??? the fact that Parkinson still wants him shows that he sees Gray being an important part of our promotion push. At the moment, based on the last 18 months, I am prepared to say that even when players have had people casting doubts on them, when they have come into the team , they have added something: Think Luke Oliver, Kyel Reid, and especially Will Atklinson. In Parky we trust![/p][/quote]Old Dave - In reality, thats about it. The problem with the fans is the LUFC element which they have to get over. I don't blame him for choosing them, in addition to the family/career reasons you mentioned, its was a chance at the Championship at 35. Whether we as BCFC fans like it or not Leeds are a big puller for anyone. We finished 18th last year. How many people here would choose us in their relative employment situation? I said yesterday its a bit like the Thorne situation - he was excellent when he played but he was injury prone, and we wanted him to play every game. It resulted in more injuries. Gray will come, probably not expect to feature in every game but will get more than he did over there. And also, PP wants players who have a certain mindset and attitude that we've seen during the season. I assume he sees it in abundance in Gray. Rambo
  • Score: 0

11:27pm Fri 11 Jan 13

dannyzuco says...

Andy Gray for England!!!!!!! City are bloody fantastic all you boys out there go do one and watch Leeds united that will suit you better!!!!

Come on city and let's win the league and the cups
Andy Gray for England!!!!!!! City are bloody fantastic all you boys out there go do one and watch Leeds united that will suit you better!!!! Come on city and let's win the league and the cups dannyzuco
  • Score: 0

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