Watford striker Andre Gray dedicated his last-gasp winner against Leicester on Sunday to his aunt.
The 27-year-old came off the bench to turn home a stoppage-time effort in a 2-1 win as the Hornets ruined Brendan Rodgers’ first game in charge of Leicester.
Jamie Vardy had earlier levelled Troy Deeney’s opener, with the Watford captain’s header scored from an offside position.
Gray’s strike was his sixth of the season but the first since his aunt Sarah died recently and the former Burnley man revealed the raw passion behind his celebration.
“It was a massive mix of emotions,” said Gray, who took off his shirt after the goal.
“I have had a tough couple of weeks, I lost my auntie. So it was an important goal for many reasons.
“It was about two weeks ago now, so it has been difficult. It was unexpected and tough. She always used to come to the home games.
“Most of the time I wouldn’t even know, she would just get the tickets directly from the liaison. It was important to score in a home game and do that for her.
“For the club, this game was a six-pointer to keep fighting for that seventh spot and give ourselves a gap against Leicester.”
Javi Gracia’s side remain eighth in the table, level on points with Wolves in seventh, as Watford seek their best top-flight finish since 1983 – with Gray impressed by the Spaniard.
“Even with the subs and the players not involved being frustrated, the manager has kept a solid team,” he added.
“He has kept the core of the team throughout most of the season. We know what we are doing. We are very well structured now. Just little things, like knowing when our days off are, we know how
things needs to go.
“We are just working hard for each other. That is something we probably haven’t had recently.”
Rodgers started life as Leicester boss with a late defeat to his former club but Foxes captain Wes Morgan believes the side will improve once they get to grips with the demands of the new manager.
“It is his first week in charge and he has got a lot of ideas he wants to introduce to us,” Morgan told lcfc.com.
“We’re taking it all on board, it is all positive stuff and the boys are buying into his philosophy and we will get better.
“We have had a bit of a bad spell and want to put that behind us now, we have some good games coming up and we know what we are capable of.
“We know we can pick up more points and that is what we need to do, go out there and start actually winning games and making the most of our dominant play and our chances.”
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