SEAN Dyche has backed former Burnley striker Andre Gray to come good for Watford, but hopes he waits until after Saturday to hit top form.

Gray helped to fire the Clarets to promotion to the Premier League in 2016 and then kicked on again to score 10 goals in his debut top flight season.

He has struggled to hit the same standards at Vicarage Road, and in the last five games has been an unused substitute.

But Dyche believes he will eventually live up to his £18million pricetag, but does not want to be on the end of it this weekend.

"I know what he did for us and he was fantastic for us,” said Dyche.

"I think he’s a very good player. Hopefully over time he’ll show that down there, and I believe he will.

"I just hope he doesn't show it on Saturday. It would be fantastic if he could save it up for another day.”

There is a reunion of a different kind for Dyche, who served Watford as player, youth coach, assistant manager and manager.

His exit in 2012 was a controversial one, having guided the Hornets to their best finish for four years.

But Watford’s loss was the Clarets’ gain, and the Burnley boss has long maintained he holds no grudges.

"The clubs I've played for down the years, I respect them all, and Watford certainly,” said Dyche.

"I was down there the other week doing a Q and A.

"I spent a lot of time there as player, young coach learning, assistant manager and manager before coming here. It was a great club for me.

"Only Troy (Deeney) and Mapps (Adrian Mariappa) are left from my time there. Both fantastic professionals and great lads as well.

"They've had so many players come through they've had to mould and remould, it’s just the way they work, and now another new manager.

"But they seem to be getting it together and finding the right balance of being effective and trying to not to concede goals.

"They are another good outfit in the Premier League.

"We move forward but we haven't moved forward enough to start thinking we’re better than everyone else every week. We know every game's a big challenge for us.

"It’s a good club. They continue to remain in the Premier League and I certainly think they will this season.”

Dyche feels a mid-season change of manager, with Javier Garcia replacing Marco Silva in January, could be a factor in Gray not hitting the ground running after his Turf Moor move.

"I can’t look from outside into their group but I think that he was in a stable situation here, and he had been at Brentford and Luton before that,” he explained.

“Watford’s a different kind of club. They change managers and change the playing staff more than the norm.

"The style changes if the manager changes. I think there are a number of different things.

"I think it's hard for players to get moves and everyone expects it to work straight away.”