MINUTES ARE THE KEY FOR BIG JOHN
JOHN Akinde believes his clinical nature in front of goal has stemmed from Barnet’s willingness to give him the run of games he feels he needed to kick-start his career.
Back in the Football League for the first time since 2013, the imposing striker struggled for form during his time with Bristol City, Crawley and Portsmouth due to lack of minutes on the pitch and ended up seeking regular playing time in the National League with Alfreton and then Barnet.
And the Bees this week ended speculation about Akinde’s future, taking up an option to extend his contract by 12 months.
“For whatever reason in my career I don’t think I got the game time I needed to perform,” the 26-year-old told The FLP.
“It came in dribs and drabs with a game here and two games there, and I never got that run of games at Crawley or Portsmouth.
“I feel that dropping down and getting those games helped me find my feet.”
After hitting an unrivalled 32 goals for Barnet in their 2014-15 promotion campaign, Akinde has continued to find the net with his tally of 11 making him the Bees’ top scorer.
With the Bees struggling to adapt to life in League Two during the first few months of the season, the pressure began to turn up on boss Martin Allen.
Akinde feels any threat to Allen’s job is completely unfounded, and that everyone has needed the time to find their feet.
“I can’t say I pay too much attention to rumours but I personally don’t think any pressure on him is fair,” he said.
“You have to think about what he has done for this club in a short space of time, and when he took over to get them back in the League and to a respectable position.
“While I’m at Barnet I’ll continue to give my everything for the club, but just like any other player there’s the ambition to play at the highest level.”