By Liam Thomas

6th Mar, 2023 | 7:30am

Troy Deeney hails Demarai Gray for Everton v Nottingham Forest in Premier League

Troy Deeney has hailed Everton ace Demarai Gray for his performance on Sunday 5 March against Nottingham Forest in the 2-2 draw at the City Ground.

Gray scored the opening goal of the afternoon, a calm, cool and collected finish from the penalty spot after Sean Dyche opted to start the winger up top ahead of Neal Maupay.

Deeney confessed that Gray will be feeling “sore” after the Premier League clash after being kicked around by the Forest defence all throughout the clash.

“He held it up well, got in behind and I think he’ll be sore today because he took a few kicks he’s not used to,” said Deeney speaking on MOTD 2. (5 March)

“If Calvert-Lewin’s not going to be fit then I think he offers a bit more mobility than Neal Maupay not to be disrespectful.

“I think he works well for what Everton want currently.”

Moving forward.

Fans have been screaming out for Gray to be given a start at some point under Dyche and the winger finally got his chance to shine against Forest.

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He took the opportunity with both hands and yet again proved how important he can be to this Everton side in their fight against relegation.

Moving forward, Dyche surely has to give Gray the starting position up top ahead of Maupay and Ellis Simms, he simply offers so much more.

His pace and relentless running in and behind the channels make him a nuisance for the very best Premier League defenders and the Blues must start exploiting this.

Gray has been one of the Toffees’ best players this year and it’s nice to see Dyche finally giving him a go in his new-look regime.

It’s not the ideal situation to be relying on a winger as a striker but it’s something Dyche and Everton must do for the remainder of the campaign with Gray should Dominic Calvert-Lewin continue to struggle.