Follow Zlat! Gray bids to copy Swede
JAMES Gray wants to be the Zlatan Ibrahimovic of League Two.
The Accrington Stanley youngster has got the Paris Saint-Germain striker’s newly published book, he’s copied the look, now he wants to mimmick the star Swede’s style in front of goal.
“He’s an unbelievable player,” said the 21-year-old, who is helping the Reds turn a corner thanks to a run of games, and a goal in their first win of the season, with more than a little help from manager and former striker James Beattie.
“I’m nearly 6ft and quite good in the air so the gaffer said if I could add a bit more physicality into my game I’d be much harder to mark and probably occupy the two centre halves more.
“He did have a chat with me about being more physical.
“It is part of the game, especially in League Two.
“I think physicality is a massive part of the game so I have tried to do that more.”
He added: “The gaffer’s helping me a lot.
“We do a lot on finishing in training.
“It’s the hardest thing in the game to do, to put the ball in the back of the net, and I think being a centre forward it’s all about confidence and I got my confidence going when I started going away with Northern Ireland.
“The gaffer has shown faith in me when I came back to put me back in the team.
“I’ve got a goal and hopefully I can get a few more.”
Gray has cut a distinctive figure, with an alternative double ponytail.
Since beating Morecambe last weekend to earn back-to-back wins, he has sported the ‘bun’ favoured by the long-haired Ibrahimovic.
“I think I’m getting the chop soon,” said the striker, with a hint of uncertainty.
“My mum said I’m Samson, my strength’s in my hair, so I need to try to keep it.
“Everyone’s giving me stick for it.
“Hopefully I can carry it on.
“It’s just going through that stage where it’s not going right and I get more stick off the lads.”
Of references to Ibrahimovic, he added: “I bought his book when I was away (with Northern Ireland under 21s) and that started the jokes even more.
“I don’t have his nose.
“I like to think I’m a bit better looking than him.
“But I do really enjoy watching him play.”
But with Stanley striving to climb off the bottom this weekend, after putting a four-game unbeaten run together, Gray would prefer to be recognised for his football than his features.
n Stanley forward Marcus Carver has joined Conference North side Barrow on a month’s loan, after a spell with Halifax earlier in the season.
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