Reds midfielder must clean up his act

The Argus: Hope Akpan is banned for today's game against Bournemouth Hope Akpan is banned for today's game against Bournemouth

Crawley midfielder Hope Akpan has been told to clean up his act if he is going to fulfil his potential.

The former Everton youngster is suspended for the trip to Bournemouth today after picking up his fifth booking of the season at Portsmouth on Boxing Day.

Akpan has already been banned for five games this season after collecting red cards against Portsmouth and Oldham. The 21-year-old was also sent off twice last season and boss Richie Barker admits it is an area the player must improve on.

Barker said: “We’ve played about 30 games this season and this will be the sixth he has missed through suspension so that is a fifth of our matches. When you are missing that many games it is a problem.

“When you are a central midfielder and play the right way you can’t really avoid picking up yellow cards but it is certainly costing both the team and Hope personally.

“He said he felt he was getting back to his best at Portsmouth too after a few weeks when he had not been himself. He was doing really well earlier in the season when he got sent off so these bans are really frustrating.”

Meanwhile, Barker has confirmed he has had a couple of enquiries about the availability of striker Richard Brodie.

Crawley’s record signing has spent the first half of the season on loan at League Two outfit Morecambe but is due to return in the New Year.

Brodie has not played for Reds for two season after spending last season on loan at Fleetwood and Barker would like to get him off the wage bill to make way for new recruits.

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has stated he would like to keep the former York City forward but could be facing competition for his signature, although it is unlikely Reds will recoup much of the £270,000 they paid for Brodie who is out of contract in the summer.

Barker said: “I have spoken to one or two people about him and we will be looking to move on with it now. I will speak to Jim as well but it depends on whether we can get a forward in next month too.”

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