Andre easing into life in the Premier League
Last season's Championship player of the year Andre Gray feels that he's adjusting well to top flight football.
Just over two years ago the 25-year-old finished at the top of the scoring charts in the Conference having scored 30 goals for Luton Town to secure the club’s Football League resurrection.
The striker has adapted quickly to any challenge thrown in his direction, netting 18 times for Brentford in his maiden season in England’s second tier while following that up with 25 goals the following campaign.
Those goals, alongside 17 from Sam Vokes, helped the Clarets to the title and now Gray is determined to keep improving in the Premier League.
Having got off the mark in the 2-0 win against Liverpool at Turf Moor, which preceded the defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Gray said: “It’s not been too bad but I’ve still got a lot of work to do. I want to keep learning and hopefully I can keep getting better throughout the season.
“It was good to get off the mark and hopefully I can get a few more. We both kicked on from where we left off last season and I’m sure we’ll get a lot more chances throughout the season and take them.”
Sean Dyche’s side failed to contain the quality of Antonio Conte’s Blues in London but Gray believes that valuable lessons have been learnt.
“It was difficult playing against former champions,” he said. “It was a tough day but it was lesson learnt. We learn massively from these games and that’s why we come here.
“We’re going to have to expect that at times so it’s all about how we handle those situations.
“We need to see what we can do with the ball when we get it but we’ve got to be better than that. It’s just another lesson.”
Gray, though, was pleased with the group’s work rate in the display; a prerequisite for the Clarets under Dyche.
“That’s normal to us now,” he said. “That’s the first thing we’ll do - put our heart and soul in to it. We just need to mix that with quality and use our heads a bit more.
“Our fitness is going to be massive especially against the bigger teams. We need to be on top of it throughout the 90 minutes. We’re going to need to keep doing it.”
The Clarets have lost just three times in 25 outings on home soil and Gray is hoping to extend that form with Hull City up next after the international break.
“They’re massive but every game is going to be massive to us,” said Gray. “Hopefully we can take our home form from the game against Liverpool in to those games and kick on.”