WATFORD’S £18m record signing Andre Gray says he has no fears over living up to his transfer fee.
It is only five years ago that the striker had to make do without any wages when non-league Hinckley hit financial difficulties.
In those days he was on just £200-a-week, compared to £55,000 at Watford
The 26-year-old former Burnley hitman said: “I never dreamt of this happening when I was at Hinckley.
“But the size of the fee doesn’t bother me too much. People questioned the fee when I signed for Burnley. People were asking how they’d paid £9m for a player in the Championship.
“The next thing we knew, we’d won the Championship and I was top scorer and player of the year in the league so it’s nothing new that people raise their eyebrows – but it’s part of our football.
“Hinckley got around £30,000 for me. Some of that had to be paid to me anyway because they hadn’t paid my wages!
“It’s a bit different in non-league when it comes to things like that. It was a good fee for the club, who were in a bit of trouble over money.
“That’s why the players weren’t getting paid on time so the fee helped them out.
“It was a learning curve. I was relying on money that wasn’t coming in. Having to survive made me learn a lot. It’s a place I’ve never wanted to go back to – and hopefully I won’t have to now.”
Gray is expected to make his debut against Liverpool tomorrow and added: “I’ve come here to improve and that doesn’t mean relegation.
“The manager did his research and wanted me. And speaking to him, it’s obvious that he’s got a vision for me.”