Julian Gray today expressed his desire to be part of a promotion push after returning to Walsall.
The 34-year-old winger re-joined the Saddlers last week on a short-term deal until January, just over two years since he first departed the Banks’s.
And speaking for the first time since sealing his return, Gray revealed high hopes for the months ahead.
When asked what the Saddlers can achieve this season, he said: “I think we can be in the play-offs minimum, at least from what I have seen.”
“We play good football, there is good movement, rotation and everyone works for each other. There is a good spirit.
“Every player wants to be up there challenging and that’s where I want to be.”
Gray was part of the squad boss Dean Smith inherited when he took over the Saddlers hotseat and has been impressed by what has taken place since his departure in the summer of 2011.
“When Deano took over he changed things and you could see what he wanted to do,” he added.
“I enjoyed my time then. Obviously he has had a couple of years in the job since. Now he has the squad he wants and has them playing the football he wants them to play.”
Before he can play his own part, Gray must first break into the Saddlers first team, having made his third appearance for the club’s reserve side in yesterday’s 3-1 win over Oldham.
After spending two seasons in the Cypriot League with Nea Salamina Famagusta, the former Birmingham City star had been training with the Saddlers for more than a month before signing.
He admitted there was an element of homesickness in his decision to return to England.
“I had two years there (in Cyprus), I was away from my family. The second year in particular was tough and I just wanted to come back.
“I spoke to Deano, trained for a bit and thankfully we have sorted something out.
“It’s good to be back. I’m glad to be getting some games in the reserves now and to be part of the squad again.
“I’m looking forward to when I get my opportunity.”
Academy striker Amadou Bakayoko netted twice to steal the show for the reserves yesterday, while Matt Preston was also on target.