Gray Out To Retain Spot

Louis Gray hopes he has done enough to keep his place in the Everton Under-21s starting line-up for the visit of Newcastle United on Thursday.

The young Blues face the North East side in the Premier League Cup at Southport, kick-off 7pm.

The young former Wrexham keeper, who joined in the summer, has had to remain patient for an opportunity because of the form of fellow glovesman Matuesz Hewelt.

But Gray started Monday’s win over Manchester City, a result secured by Kieran Dowell’s goal just after half time plus a resolute defensive display.

The young shot-stopper hopes the part he played in the clean sheet sees him gain another opportunity against the Magpies.

“We have a cup game against Newcastle now,” he said. “Hopefully I can play in that as well and kick on from there.

“I’m pleased with the way the City game went. I could have done a bit better with a few things but I’ll work on them. Thankfully Jordan Thorniley and Morgan Feeney were terrific, getting their bodies in front of everything, but to be the honest, the whole team put a shift in.

“It was a perfect way to mark my first start. I knew I was starting the day before the game so I was concentrating on keeping a clean sheet and trying to keep my place for the Newcastle game.”

Gray, however, recognises that he is up against plenty of quality when it comes to the number one position. Joining him on the training pitch are Russell Griffiths, Conor Hunt, Jindrich Stanek and Hewelt.

Nevertheless, it is the perfect environment for a young player to develop.

“I love it here and being down at Finch Farm,” added Gray. “There is a great group of lads at the Club.

“There is great banter between the goalkeepers, which makes training that little bit better. We have competitions, which push you to be the best out of the keepers.

“I have been here since the start of the season and I have had to wait for my chance.

“Mateusz is a great keeper so I have to work hard every day in training and when your chance comes you have to take it.”

Season Ticket holders and Foreverton members can watch the Under-21s at Southport for FREE.

Otherwise, tickets are priced £5 for adults and £3 for concessions.

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