Gray has no point to prove against hometown club

Striker Andre Gray doesn’t feel like he has anything to prove to former club Wolverhampton Wanderers at the weekend, writes Mike Simmonds.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 4th January 2013, 8:23 am

Gray was born in the area and was part of Wolves’ academy, before being released as a youngster and was picked up by Shrewsbury Town.

When asked if he felt he needed to show the Championship side what they had missed out on when the club’s meet in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, Gray said: “Not really as I was so young.

“I played for them when I was a kid, I was in the academy until I was 12 or 13 and I think it was Dave Jones who was in charge. I still know a few of the players there, I was born and bred there, grew up there and only recently moved down here.”

Despite not supporting the club because they ‘weren’t ever really that good when I was there’, Gray will have a lot of family and friends in attendance, who were delighted when the draw was made.

He said: “I was with my mum in Wolves, it was a bit weird. A lot of my friends support Wolves and it will be a good game for them to come and watch.

“I think a few of them will come down and some of them want me to score a hat-trick and lose as obviously they’re fans and good friends with me too, so it will be interesting.”

It’s been quite a turnaround in fortune for Gray as this time last year, he was with part of the Hinckley United side, who went out in a first round replay against Tamworth.

Now with the Kenilworth Road training ground packed with press and television conducting interviews in every corner for the tie, he said: “This time last year I wasn’t standing here thinking I would be doing this, so everything else is a bonus.

“When I was at Hinckley, it was good for us to get to the first round. I think we had Tamworth, that was as far as we got really.

“I just want to test myself at this level and see where I am as a player. It will be a good test for me as not many of them (Wolves players) left.

“I can only remember Steven Fletcher leaving, so it’s basically playing against near enough a Premier League side, so it will be interesting.”

Gray is relishing the chance to play at a packed Kenilworth Road too as he said: “I’m looking forward to it, an ex-Premier League club, a massive occasion and to play in front of a full house, it’s going to be a good game.

“Against Wrexham, that was the closest we got. It still wasn’t full and the atmosphere was electric that day and will be same again on Saturday, it will be brilliant.

“I think Wolves bring a full following everywhere they go and think our crowd and their crowd will create some noise.”

Although Gray wouldn’t be adverse to a replay to finally savour the Molineux atmosphere, he believes his side has the ability to cause one of the upsets of the round.

He added: “I never got the chance to play there, so although it would be better to win, a draw would be a good result as well.

“There’s definitely a chance (to win). We’re at home, we’ve got a good team and that’s what the FA Cup is all about. There’s always chance of an upset and hopefully we can cause that.”

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