Neilson backing Big John

Akinde: In to provide cover

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Crawley midfielder Scott Neilson has backed striker John Akinde to replace the void left by Tyrone Barnett.

Barnett left the club to join Peterborough in January and Akinde notched his first goal of the season in the defeat to Shrewsbury as he makes a case to replace the former Macclesfield man.

"Big John came on at half-time and we have to start getting him involved and putting his weight about," Neilson told Crawley News.

"He's a great player. He just needs to be confident in himself. He's big and strong and if he isn't scoring, at least he's trying to create chances. He's a massive lad. If we get the ball down and play we're always going to create chances."

Neilson made his own contribution to the goalscoring threat as he netted in the home draw with Morecambe. The midfielder feels he should pose a bigger goal threat and is hoping that strike is the first of many more.

"I'm top goalscorer in training so it's good to get one on the pitch. It was good to open my account. I was hoping for two, but I can't moan, the main thing is to get points for the team."