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Perseverance Pays Off for Hero Gray

26 December 2016

Andre Gray always believed his hard work would pay off after he ended his long wait for a goal with a priceless winner to sink Middlesbrough at Turf Moor.

Gray hadn’t found the net since scoring in Burnley’s 2-0 win over Liverpool back in August.

But his 10-game drought came to a spectacular end as he pounced to crash a late shot through Boro keeper Victor Valdes to give the Clarets a sixth home win of the campaign and lift them to 14th place in the Premier League.

“In the last few games nothing has really dropped for me but I’ve been in this situation before when I’ve been a few games without scoring,” said Gray, who is just a dozen matches into his top-flight career.

“Two seasons ago I went nine games without scoring and came out at the end of it with 16 or 17 goals.

“I don’t dwell on anything, as long as I’m helping the team and trying to perform well every week. It’s just a case of doing the right things and I’m sure the goals will come.

“It’s just a case of keep doing the right things and hopefully something will drop and that’s what happened.

“It was a case of not thinking really and just getting my shot away.

“I tried to follow it up because I saw him spill it. I felt I needed a bit of luck to get that second goal of the season and it came today.

“I’ve still got a lot to learn and I feel I’m learning a lot in terms of training. I’m getting the hang of it now.

“It was always going to be a slow process and a big jump but I feel like I am adapting slowly and surely and hopefully I can keep improving over the season and keep scoring goals.

Burnley’s win lifted them above Boro in the table as Sean Dyche’s men again got the better of the side they pipped to the Championship title last season, when Gray notched 25 times.

And it means the Clarets are 14th in the table with 20 points, one match ahead of the half-way point of the season.

“It was a massive game for us,” admitted Gray, who was one of 11 players booked in a match played in testing, windy conditions in which neither side was prepared to budge an inch.

“Middlesbrough are in and around us and it was a game we wanted to win desperately and we managed to do that.

“It wasn’t the best conditions and not a game I think anyone will be watching back.

“Tensions were high. They were our rivals last season as well and we both desperately wanted to win the game.

“There always going to be bookings and it was just one of those games. It was always going to be scrappy.

“I don’t think it was ever going to be a pretty or anyone was going to get hold of the game and really dominate.

“We knew what to expect and we knew it would be a tight game, like it was last year as well when we were fighting the title.

“It was just about keep grinding and trying to nick something and we got a bit of luck at the end we have been waiting for the last few weeks.”

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