Don't write me off! Bantams striker Gray eager to show fans he's 'still got it' (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Don't write me off! Bantams striker Andy Gray eager to show fans he's 'still got it'
Andy Gray wants to convince the doubting Valley Parade public that he still has the hunger to be part of City’s campaign.
The veteran striker insists he can still force himself into Phil Parkinson’s thinking despite a forgettable first season back at the club.
In his first interview for eight months, Gray admitted he could see why some fans have already dismissed his prospects of making an impression second time around.
Gray said: “I didn’t play at all really last year. At Leeds I was on the bench, coming on for ten minutes here and there, and then didn’t get much of a look-in when I came to Bradford.
“The lads were doing so well in the cup when I first came and I was cup-tied so I couldn’t be involved in those games.
“Then I went long periods of time without playing games consistently. Ask anyone, you need four or five in a row to build form up and I never really had that.
“That was the first season in my 15 years as a player when I’ve not been involved and it was really frustrating. When you’re at my age, 35, you certainly don’t want that.
“People write you off and I can understand that. But I would like to get back playing.
“I’m still as fit as anybody here. Obviously you do lose your sharpness as you get older but that’s never been my game.
“I’d like to think I can show I’ve got it. I’ve still got an appetite for the game and want to be out there.”
Gray played and scored in a midweek friendly behind closed doors at York – his first action since breaking his left forearm in the first pre-season game in July. That injury seemed to sum up his fortunes since coming back to the club.
“It was a disaster,” he added. “It was 20 minutes into the first pre-season game – it couldn’t have come at a worse time. I tried to make an impression after last season and come back fit and then that happened.
“All I can remember is going up for a header and I think the other guy must have landed on top of me. I knew straight away that I’d broken it.”
James Hanson and Nahki Wells have begun League One with a bang, carrying on the dominant form that swept City through the play-offs. With ten goals between them so far, the other frontmen are well down the pecking order.
Gray said: “Both of them have been excellent since I’ve been here. They are playing really well and at times are very difficult for opposing teams to handle.
“I want the lads to do well. They work really hard every day in training and ultimately it’s nice to see the club succeeding because they’ve been through a lot of hard times.
“It’s not about me but hopefully if I can get an opportunity at some point, then I can take it.
“I’ve not been in the manager’s thoughts because of the injury so it was great to have a run around at York and be back playing again.”
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