Gray On Central Role And Key Everton Shift

Demarai Gray says he is relishing the opportunity to lead from the front for Everton, while highlighting a "mentality shift" under manager Sean Dyche following the Blues' 2-2 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Ellis Simms first senior goal for the Club secured an important point on the road ahead of the international break, after Abdoulaye Doucoure had earlier levelled for the Toffees in a hectic second half in the capital.

The result makes it three games unbeaten for the Toffees, having secured a 1-0 win over in-form Brentford and 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest in their previous two outings.

Speaking after the clash with Chelsea, Gray believes the Blues can pose a problem for any side they face if they maintain that resilient streak.

"It feels really good," Gray told "To come back from behind twice shows our character, our resilience. 

"Obviously, it's disappointing to concede the goals but I felt like we would get opportunities and find a way back into the game. 

"I think that is key because in the past, maybe we were conceding a goal and crumbling a bit. 

"The manager made some key subs and credit to Simmsy. He worked his socks off when he came on and he's got his reward with a great goal that got us a point.

"It gives us a lot of confidence. 

"I think we've shown our mentality over the past few games. The 1-0 against Brentford, we had our backs to the wall for a lot of that second half but rode it out and got the win... over the past few weeks I think there have been a lot of improvements. There is still a lot of work to be done but we want to build a foundation and I think we're getting that. Then it's about working on other little details that will make us an even better team. 

"Our reaction [against Chelsea] shows the character shift and mentality change - and I think as long as that continues we'll be a problem for any team."

Gray retained his starting berth as Everton's central striker for the third successive game against Chelsea and provided yet another tireless performance against Graham Potter's back three.

"It's a shift!" admitted Gray, when asked about spear-heading the side's attack. "I'm enjoying it. For me, it's just about being on the pitch, trying to helps the boys and contribute where I can. 

"It was a bit different today playing against a back three who were big guys but I did my best. 

"I always try to contribute with goals and assists but it's about working hard wherever I'm asked to play, whatever role I'm given, I'm going to give 100%."

The sold-out away end in Chelsea's Shed End saw 2,986 Evertonians show their appreciation after another battling away performance - and Gray insists that support never goes unnoticed or under-appreciated in the dressing room.

"The fans travel with us everywhere," he added. "They travel long distances and make noise for us until the end. We have to give them a lot of credit and we owe them these type of performances. 

"Me, leading the line, I want to work and show them that commitment. 

"I'm grateful for them. 

"It's a collective - staff, players and fans and, maybe even more so when times aren't good, it's about sticking together and we're doing that."

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