7:54am Tuesday 6th May 2014
By Alex James
OUT of contract Accrington Stanley striker James Gray admits he would love to stay at the Store First Stadium after finishing the League Two campaign with three golals in two games.
The Northern Ireland Under 21 international netted twice in the final day win over AFC Wimbledon on Saturday and must now wait and see if his late-season form will be enough to see Reds boss James Beattie offer him a deal.
But Gray, who finished the campaign with seven goals, admits he is keen to stay put.
He said: “I would love to stay here. We will have to see what the gaffer says. As long as I keep playing well hopefully I can earn a new contract whether it be here or somewhere else.
“I love the club and the fans and everyone is close knit. I am thankful for what Accrington have done for me so far.”
And the forward believes there is more to come from a Stanley side who have improved as the season has gone on.
He added: “I don’t think people give Accrington the respect they deserve. They are an established League Two team now.
“Everyone puts us favourites to go down every year and we have finished 15th with a lot of teams below us.
“If we keep the squad together then you can see the results we can pick up home and away so if we keep it together there is no reason why we can’t push on next season.”
Stanley have a host of players out of contract and boss Beattie has already said he knows who will earn new deals with the club.
Gray and his strike partner Kayode Odejayi are both unsure of their futures but both found the net in Saturday’s 3-2 home win over AFC Wimbledon.
And former Darlington man Gray believes it was a game Stanley deserved to win.
He added: “The target was to beat last year’s points tally and we wanted to win to put a show on for the fans and I was really pleased to have got two goals.
“I think we were always in control of the game.
“I don’t think we would have ever have dreamed of being 15th. I would have taken 22nd after that first win. It is brilliant for the club that we have ended so high.”
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