MIN­UTES ARE THE KEY FOR BIG JOHN

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Nick Lough

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.”

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