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Manager Steve Evans says new Gillingham striker John Akinde will soon be up to speed after making his debut just a day after signing from Lincoln City

New signing John Akinde made his debut for the Gills on Saturday just a day after completing a transfer from Lincoln.

The 30-year-old striker moved to Priestfield for an undisclosed fee, reuniting him with a manager who he worked with several years ago at Crawley Town.

John Akinde holds off two Rochdale defenders Picture: Julian Hart
John Akinde holds off two Rochdale defenders Picture: Julian Hart

Boss Steve Evans worked hard to get his man – someone he first targeted for the Gills in the summer – and is looking forward to getting the best out of him.

Speaking after their weekend draw with Rochdale, where Akinde played the majority of the game, Evans said: “John met the boys briefly before the game and he knows it wasn’t his best but the service wasn’t the best.

“He lacked quality service and he looked a yard off it but the kid hasn’t trained for three or four days.

"He had been in talks up and down the country with us and his representative and back at Lincoln.

“You could see he is a very fit boy but suffered a bit from cramp after 65-70 minutes. He will be a big player for us going forward, for sure.”

Evans continues to work hard to try and get more new players in.

He’s still after a versatile defender and a wide-man, saying: “We are going to work hard to bring one or two in, whether we can get them in for Wednesday (when the Gills host Shrewsbury), or even the deadline (on Friday), that is in the hands of others.

“All I do is identify players, speak to them and create a desire so that they want to come.

“We don’t just have two targets, we have three or four, in certain positions. We hope to land two and if we do we will be stronger.

“We are very close to being one of the good sides in this league, very close, but it is fine margins. If Mandron scores on Saturday (with a late chance) we win and everyone is going home buzzing. We need to take those chances when they come.

“We are still trying to shape this squad into being a really good side as opposed to being a nearly good side.”

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