Gray: Determined Blues Will Not Let Up

Demarai Gray insists there is no question of Everton taking their foot off the gas as the Blues eye a third consecutive Premier League victory when they travel to Watford on Wednesday night.

The winger also hailed the inspirational impact Evertonians have had on results in recent weeks and explained how he feels he is approaching top form again.

Everton go into Wednesday’s clash at Vicarage Road on the back of rousing successes over Chelsea and Leicester City.

Victory against Watford would see Frank Lampard’s team – who are currently one point clear of the relegation spots – take an important step towards securing their Premier League status, and Gray insists the team must retain a laser-like focus on sustaining their performance levels.

“Complacency is one thing we can’t have,” Gray told evertontv

“There is a long way to go, and we’ve got to go to the end.

“We know, quality-wise, the [standard of] players we have in the team, but it is about mentality – our attitude – and there has been a massive change in that. 

“We’re grinding out games – we’ve won 1-0 a couple of times and 2-1 against Leicester. 

“It’s about digging deep and mentally staying strong. We have to continue that now.

“Against Leicester, we had to dig deep but I think, from the first minute, we were at it. The spirit from everyone was top.

“I can’t thank the fans who travelled there enough. It’s like having an extra body on the pitch. And the send-off when we left the training ground on Saturday… I’ve never seen anything like that before. 

“The week before, when we beat Chelsea, the support was the same. I think the fans know the role they play and how much of a massive boost for the team they give.”

Gray joined Everton from Bayer Leverkusen last summer and kicked off his Blues career in stunning fashion, hitting five goals and recording two assists over the course of his opening 15 Premier League matches.

After a period on the sidelines with a hip injury and a virus earlier in the year, Gray admitted he found it difficult to reach his optimum levels again.

The forward has shown signs of returning to his explosive best in recent weeks, though, and he paid tribute to the belief shown in him by boss Lampard.

“I know when I’m at the top of my game,” Gray said. 

“I still wouldn’t say I’m there yet, but I’ve most definitely got that confidence back and I feel more like myself again. I’ve got to thank the gaffer to sticking by me and keeping faith with me. 

“I’m an attacking player and I’m a sharp player. I’m seeing that sharpness back in my game – beating players and running at players – and also my defensive work, that fitness side is coming back. 

“It’s not about me, though, it’s about the team. It’s a collective effort and we all have to be responsible in our roles. We’ve been doing that and you can see that with the results over the past month. The gaffer gives us a plan and it’s up to us to stick to it.”

Demarai Gray
I’ve most definitely got that confidence back and I feel more like myself again.

While Gray’s pace, skill and penetration were key elements of Everton’s vibrant attacking performances against Chelsea and Leicester, at the other end of the pitch Everton have been indebted to the brilliance of Jordan Pickford.

Gray explained how having a goalkeeper of his calibre as the last line of defence provides an extra level of security.

He said: “Sometimes, I don’t even know how he saves those shots! But that’s Pickers. He’s England No.1. 

“And he’s pulling these saves out at big moments, because we need him more than ever.

“Throughout the team, you need a strong base and he’s doing his job brilliantly.”