Still: Gray not just an impact player

Town boss John Still has confirmed he doesn’t see Andre Gray as purely an impact player at the club, writes Mike Simmonds.

Tuesday, 24th September 2013, 10:36 am
Striker Andre Gray

The forward, Hatters’ leading scorer last season with 20 goals, has endured a stuttering start to the campaign so far.

He has made just five starts and is yet to score, while has been relegated to the bench for the last three matches.

Gray helped change the game against Lincoln City on Saturday as his cameo turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 victory, but Still thinks he has more to offer.

He said: “I wouldn’t say I think he’s an impact player, I think he’s a good player.

“Probably along with one or two, the season didn’t start that great for him, but it happens sometimes,.

“I don’t know how many minutes he’s had on the pitch, but it’s same with Mark (Cullen), same with Paul (Benson), same with Jon (Shaw) and all the other forwards, you’ve got to score goals and unfortunately it hasn’t quite worked for him.

“And like lots of players at all levels, if they’re not at their absolute best and there’s someone who’s doing okay, it’s difficult.

“Now he might get a run in the team and get five goals in seven games, but I think when he has come on, he’s made an impact.

“He’s done better from coming on, but I don’t see him as an impact player, I see him as a player working as hard as he can to get into the team and claim the space that he thinks should be his.

“And he knows if he’s in there scoring goals, it’s going to be his.”

Although Still has favoured a 4-3-3 system in recent weeks, with Gray not fitting into the equation as the lead forward, the manager believes he can play a role within the formation.

He added: “He’s probably not you’re traditional number nine, he’s probably got to play with somebody, whereas Mark can play down the middle on his own.

“Andre’s best is not down the middle on his own, he doesn’t want to come to the ball to receive it, he wants to run behind, which is great, that’s a fantastic commodity to have.

“As far as I’m concerned, Andre is working has as hard he can to get into the team and he fits into the system 100 per cent.”

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