Belfast Telegraph

Andre Gray happy at Burnley despite reported interest from West Ham

Andre Gray insists he "could not be in a better position" at Burnley amid rumours of interest from fellow Premier League club West Ham.

The former non-league striker came off the bench to score his sixth goal of the season as the Clarets beat Sunderland in a third-round FA Cup replay on Tuesday night.

It was a fifth strike in 18 days for the 25-year-old, who also netted a New Year's Eve hat-trick against the Black Cats, and his form has led to suggestions Slaven Bilic's Hammers could be keen to bring him to the capital as they seek more attacking options.

Gray moved to Burnley in August 2015 for £6million and, having helped Sean Dyche's side reach 10th in the table, 10 points above the bottom three, he is content with life in east Lancashire.

"I'm happy," he said. "We're 10th in the league and I'm playing football and scoring goals - I don't think I could be in a better position.

"It (speculation) is just what happens. If I didn't score that hat-trick the other week then you might not hear my name. That's just the way that football works, I suppose.

"It's always good to hear your name mentioned in the right way but I'm happy here and I'm settled here. We're 10th in the league and flying high. It's just part and parcel of football."

Gray will be in London this weekend as the Clarets face Arsenal hoping to remedy their travelling woes.

Twenty-five of Burnley's 26 points have come at home and a draw at Old Trafford in October was the only time the Clarets avoided defeat in their nine away games.

It is 12 months since Dyche's team last visited the Gunners, in the fourth round of the FA Cup, and it will provide Gray with another opportunity to feature against the club he supported as a boy.

"I've always followed them but it changes a lot when you become a professional footballer and you're having to play - you become more of a follower than a supporter," he added.

"We'll go there with a lot more confidence than we did last year so we're in for a good game.

"A lot has changed. We've become better, we went on an incredible unbeaten run after that and got promoted. Now we're 10th in the Premier League so I'm sure they'll be wary of us."

Premier League survival, something Burnley are trying to achieve after suffering instant demotions in their previous two campaigns, remains the main objective.

They will next entertain Sky Bet Championship club Bristol City in the FA Cup with a chance to move into the fifth round for the first time since 2011.

Back then Gray was on the books of Hinckley and he was still a non-league player when he helped Luton defeat then-Premier League side Norwich in 2013.

"I remember being in a team that was looking forward to playing a Premier League team, hoping you get a good draw," he admitted.

"Now we're that team that people are looking forward to playing against. It's good to look back and remember that feeling."

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