Striker Gray sets high standards
Record signing Andre Gray is setting his sights high in the Premier League this season.
The 25-year-old striker acknowledges the challenge that the Clarets will face in the top flight but, having evaluated the test philosophically, is refusing to settle merely for 17th spot and survival.
The £6m man, who was the Championship’s leading scorer last term, alluded to the 23-game unbeaten stretch that Sean Dyche’s side embarked on as they defied the odds to win the title.
Following the 3-0 loss to Hull City on Boxing Day at the KC Stadium, with the automatic places seemingly an optimistic objective, Gray credited the squad’s positive mental attitude and ambition for the remarkable recovery.
“I think Joey (Barton) touched on it last year – if you aim low you shoot low,” he said.
“You can’t think like that. We had a meeting last year (after the Hull game) and we were all asked the question ‘where do you want to finish?’ We all said ‘we want to be champions’.
“If we’d have all answered with the ‘play-offs’ then we probably would have finished up in the play-offs.
“We’ve got to believe in ourselves.
“It doesn’t make any sense to set your standards low because then you start aiming low.
“We’re not going in there just to try and survive and scrap every week.
“We want to make a statement.
“The last couple of years have proved that teams don’t go up and come back down straight away.
“We’ve got a good team and I’m sure we’ll be able to do well.”
The assignment ahead is unequivocally demanding but that won’t limit Gray’s goals for the 2016/17 campaign.
The striker, who netted 25 times last term, is still aiming to score in every game that he plays.
“It’s like me, I tend not to say that I want to score 10 or 15 goals because when I get to that I’d feel settled,” he said.
“I want to score in every game.
“It’s all in your head.
“I’ve just got to keep my head down and keep doing what I’m doing. The goals don’t get any smaller, they’re still in the same place, so hopefully I can take my form in to the Premier League.
“Hopefully I can score goals in the Premier League.
“That’s what I want to do and that’s what I came here to do.
“I’ve proved that I can score goals in the Championship but it’s up to me to prove that I can do it in the top flight now.
“It’s not going to be easy.
“It never gets any easier.”