Andre Gray says the Clarets squad are immensely proud of teammate Sam Vokes after Wales’ performance in UEFA EURO 2016.
Vokes has been a notable absentee from the start of pre-season this week as Chris Coleman and his men’s remarkable run to the semi-final was finally brought to an end last night against Portugal.
The pair struck up a prolific partnership on the way to the Championship title and Gray was full of praise for his fellow frontman’s achievements.
“He’s been fantastic. You see how many important goals he scored for us last season and the affect he has on games.
“All the boys are really proud of him and we’ve kept in touch throughout the tournament on a group chat.
“The goal against Belgium was Vokesy all over. I remember seeing Didier Drogba do that in the Champions League final and nobody shut up about it.
“Yesterday was a bit gutting for him but they’re all proud of what they’ve achieved so they’re taking the positives out of it.
“I’m sure he’ll come back confident after playing against Europe’s elite and doing as well as he did.”
The Clarets returned for pre-season testing on Monday and have had two further sessions out on the grass which encompassed both fitness and ball work.
And while Gray, who netted 25 goals last season, doesn’t necessarily enjoy the rigours of the early part of pre-season, he recognises its importance as he looks to prove his top-flight credentials.
He added: “It’s good to be back with the boys. Obviously the running isn’t nice but it’s got to be done and we know what the end result is from it.
“We don’t think any team in the country won’t be back doing the work we are so we’ve got to be ready for it.
“I can’t wait as it’s what I dreamed of as a boy and it’s what I came here to do. I didn’t come here to settle and play in the Championship.
“I will try to take it in my stride, keep my head down and just enjoy it.
“I try not to think about it too much and that’s how my career has panned out really. I just tend to get on with things and not fear anybody – that’s the way I try to live my life.
“I’ve proved I can score goals in the Championship but now it’s down to me to prove I can do it in the Premier League.”