Gray, who spent 12 years with Sunderland, believes the club have what it takes to improve on their 10th place finish last season.
He told talkSPORT: "I've been very happy with [the business] they've done. I got a taste of them this afternoon in a pre-season friendly against Burnley, although they lost unfortunately.
"They showed good signs but obviously the players have got to gel in with the players who have been there for the last few years.
"The squad looks healthy and sharp and we've got a few centre-forwards that we lacked last season.
"[Connor Wickham] looks very lively and very sharp and it's great to have that youthfulness in your side along with the experience of John O'Shea and Wes Brown. They've been there, they've seen it and done it. They've won every competition that's out there which is fantastic.
"I'm really looking forward to the start of the season and I'm hoping for big things. Everybody I speak to can't wait for the season to get going."