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Gray Lauds Creative Blues

@Everton

Everton legend Andy Gray says he would love to have played in the current Blues team.

The former Toffees striker netted 22 goals in 68 games during a short but prolific spell at Goodison Park during the mid-eighties.

Kevin Sheedy, Trevor Steven and Graeme Sharp provided the ammunition for Gray to fire in 1985 as Everton recorded a league and European Cup Winners’ Cup double.

And Gray believes he would have thrived in today’s era alongside the present group of Everton players.

“Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman at full-back, they must cross more quality balls into the penalty area than any other players in the league,” Gray told evertonfc.com.

“You have got players like Osman and Gibson, along with Mirallas who has got that little bit of stardust in him, so any striker worth his salt would be looking forward to playing in this team.

“If I was playing in that side and they were playing as well as they did last year, I’d be disappointed if I wasn’t touching 20 goals a season.”

Gray is also backing Nikica Jelavic to rediscover his goalscoring touch under new boss Roberto Martinez.

The Croatian initially set the Premier League on fire after joining from Rangers, scoring nine times in 13 appearances during the second half of the 2011/12 season.

Jelavic registered eight times last term but Gray, recalling his own previous experiences, is expecting the 27-year-old to emerge from his barren spell as an improved player.

“It was his [Jelavic’s] second season in the league and he did struggle a bit but I’m hoping that second season will make him a better player,” Gray explained. “I’m hoping he will be stronger for his experiences.

“In fairness to him, he was still getting in positions to score goals but it just wasn’t happening for him. You could see his confidence had taken a dent. Strikers are very much confidence footballers and if your confidence is up then you will normally score.

“When I was with Everton – during the Championship winning season – I went 10 games without scoring. It was a real frustrating time and although we were winning games, I couldn’t quite get a goal.

“I got a couple away at Leicester when we beat them 2-1 [in February 1985]. It was a big game for Everton and then I went on and got another 10 in the remaining games. You do get spells like that.”

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