Jamie Proctor believes the arrival of Matt Tubbs can help him rediscover his eye for goal.
Proctor is expected to play alongside Tubbs in attack at Coventry City following the popular striker’s return to Crawley on loan from Bournemouth.
The 21-year-old is likely to get the nod ahead of Emile Sinclair and Gary Alexander for the trip to Sixfields after ending a run of 15 games without a goal in the 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers on Wednesday.
Tubbs’ arrival means boss John Gregory now has six strikers to choose from, although Billy Clarke is not available as he serves the final match of a three-game ban for his sending off against MK Dons on Boxing Day.
Proctor’s 14th-minute header was only his third goal in 27 games this season and he knows he must significantly improve on that ratio to keep his place in the side.
He said: “Matt obviously had a great record when he was here before and we’ve seen what he is capable of in training already so hopefully him coming in will give us all a lift.
“It means there is more competition now for the strikers but I don’t mind that. Everyone knows they will have to up their game because if you are not performing you know you are not going to be playing the following week.
“We all accept that and rather than viewing it as a problem I see it as something which will be helpful to us all as it keeps you on your toes. All you can do is score goals and then you know you will probably keep your place in the team.”
Reds have never really found a prolific goalscorer to replace Tubbs since he left to join the Cherries two years ago for £800,000 after scoring 58 goals in 78 matches.
Proctor made an encouraging start to his Crawley career after joining on a free transfer from Swansea City almost exactly a year ago but his progress has stalled somewhat this season.
He found the net seven times in 18 games last year but has lost his way since scoring the opening goal of the current campaign in the reverse fixture against Coventry.
Proctor added: “When you go a little while without one it is difficult to get that goal. Last week (against Notts County) I hit the post a couple of times, the crossbar and their keeper made some saves and you start to wonder when it is going to come. “The chances have been coming but I think I have been a little bit unfortunate. Now it has come hopefully I can push on and get a few more. It is all about confidence.”
Proctor gave Crawley an early lead in a rollercoaster 3-2 victory against Coventry back in August when the Sky Blues fought back from 2-0 down only for Mike Jones to score a late winner.
The former Preston striker is anticipating another testing afternoon but is confident Reds can complete the double over Steven Pressley’s men.
Proctor added: “They are on a good run. They score a lot of goals at home and done well to get themselves out of the problems they have found themselves in (ten point deduction and playing home games at Northampton). “They have always had a good squad so it is going to be a tough game but it is definitely one we will be looking to go and win. We were devastated to go out of the FA Cup on Wednesday and are determined to bounce back.”