Goal helps Andy Gray show Bradford City fans he has not ‘retired’

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Andy Gray celebrates after scoring against Peterborough Andy Gray celebrates after scoring against Peterborough

Andy Gray insists he is still alive and kicking – and wants to prove it to a doubting Valley Parade.

The former Scottish international capped his first outing of the season at Peterborough by coming off the bench to score City’s goal.

The instinctive backheel was not enough to salvage a point for the team but Gray felt he might have made one personally.

And dead leg permitting, the 36-year-old hopes to show that was no one-off in front of a heaving home crowd this afternoon.

Gray said: “I enjoyed every minute on Saturday. It was so nice to be back on the pitch playing again and it’s always great to score – it’s been a long time.

“I’ve not played for 18 months really. I had about six games last year when I first came but then broke my arm and that’s been it.

“People probably thought I’d retired. That’s what it felt like at times.”

James Hanson’s absence opened an unexpected door for a striker who has hardly scratched the surface since returning to City in the last January transfer window.

Gray admitted it had been tough being stuck in the shadows – but could not argue with the form of Hanson and Nahki Wells up front.

He said: “Hans and Nahki have been brilliant ever since I’ve been here. That’s why there’s not really been any opportunities.

“Of course it’s frustrating for me but Hans is such an integral part in the way we play.

“When I came here the target was for the club to get promotion and they did that, mainly through Hans and Nahki doing so well. This season they’ve continued in exactly the same vein.

“Nahki is one of the hottest young strikers in the league. Who knows what’s going to happen with him but he’s been fantastic.

“Hans has played a big part as well, setting up a lot of goals for him. I’ve heard people say we’re direct and this and that but we are creating chances.

“He also does a good job defending set-pieces, so the manager won’t want to take him off at times because he’s vital in those situations.”

Having made his first appearance on the City scoresheet in virtually a decade, Gray would love to carry on where he left off. He scored twice on his last Boxing Day outing at Valley Parade in a 4-2 win over Stoke in 2002.

He said: “It’s just typical that I pick up a knock as I get my chance. But hopefully I’ll be all right to be involved.

“I’ve always loved to play on Boxing Day. It’s a special time of year for the supporters and a great day to be playing football.

“It’s one you always look forward to when the fixtures come out and playing Rotherham at home is even better.

“Rotherham seem to have beaten us a few times recently and we definitely owe them one. It’s a game that all the lads are looking forward to.

“We lost down there in the FA Cup not so long ago and, having watched the video, there’s a few things the lads want to put right. It would be great to be part of that.”

Comments (1)

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9:25am Thu 26 Dec 13

Freddy says...

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Gray did very well at P'Boro. The second half changed completely, when he came on with Reid.
*
He thoroughly deserved his goal, and became a great 'Foil' for Wells ( As Hanson does).
*
If he keeps up his " ALLENBY " fitness training. He will be a great asset to the Squad.
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* Gray did very well at P'Boro. The second half changed completely, when he came on with Reid. * He thoroughly deserved his goal, and became a great 'Foil' for Wells ( As Hanson does). * If he keeps up his " ALLENBY " fitness training. He will be a great asset to the Squad. * Freddy

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