Burnley’s £6m record signing Andre Gray has outlined the importance of winning ugly in the push for promotion to the Premier League.
Brentford lost nine games by a solitary goal last term and drew an identical amount on the way to being beaten by Middlesbrough in the Championship play-off semi-final.
You won’t always play well but if you can grind out results then it’s all goodAndre Gray
But the Clarets’ smash and grab victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate, where the 24-year-old made his debut, pleased the former Bees striker.
Gray, who scored 20 goals in 52 appearances during his tenure at Griffin Park, said: “Last season at Brentford we battered teams and went away with nothing.
“That’s what it takes to get promoted - you won’t always play well but if you can grind out results then it’s all good.
“It’s massive. Everyone that gets promoted has to go away and try to grind out results.
“It’s part and parcel of the division. It’s not always going to be pretty. We’re not going to play well in all 46 games this season.”
He added: “Getting to the Premier League has always been my ambition from when I was playing at Hinckley to Luton.
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. It’s been stepping stones but hopefully this season I can go and fulfil my dream.”
The one-time Hinckley United and Luton Town man spent most of the previous campaign as a lone striker under the stewardship of new Rangers boss Mark Warburton.
However, he’s looking forward to adapting to Sean Dyche’s preferred 4-4-2 formation ahead of his Turf Moor bow against Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend.
“The whole of last season I played on my own so it’s going to help me playing with another striker,” said Gray, who partnered Sam Vokes against the Robins. “I’ll just look to get a good partnership going with one of them now.
“Over time everybody will get used to how each other plays and when we get that fluidity and everybody knows each other’s roles then we’ll hit the ground running.
“There’s healthy competition and that helps to spur each other on. We all want the same thing and that’s to get promoted to the Premier League.”
Gray added: “I want to do as well for this club as I do for myself. “I’ve already got two goals now and it took me until the sixth game last season to do that.
“The games come thick and fast when we come back from the international break so hopefully I can get a few and kick on.
“I can’t wait for my home debut. It’ll be worth the wait I think. I’ll save the goal for my home debut. I’m just going to keep working hard and taking things in my stride.”