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Coppell: What Hope has

PUBLISHED

11:01 10th January 2013

Steve backs Akpan to shine

Steve Coppell has backed new signing Hope Akpan to succeed at Madejski Stadium and believes he is a well-rounded, promising midfielder.

Speaking to BBC Berkshire, the former Reading manager has seen Hope come on leaps and bounds during his time at Crawley - and told Royals supporters what they might expect to see of the 21-year-old.

"He's bright and has a good pedigree," Coppell explained. "He was brought up at Everton, and for whatever reason it didn't work out for him. He came to Crawley and he's now got a little bit of everything.

"Physically, he's quite imposing. He's excellent in the air from a defensive sense and an attacking sense. He's a very powerful midfield player with good skill, good close control and range of pass.

"He's a good player now and I think, given the right environment and some good quality coaches - which he's got, I think he will get even better as he gets more experience and maturity.

"He's going to come in, and be very competitive and be very much part of the mentality that Reading have had over the years."

Coppell also spoke of Akpan's versatility, and states that he is adept in more than than one capacity in midfield.

"I personally think he will be a very solid player at Reading for years to come. He can drive forward - he's very powerful in possession and runs forward with the ball.

"He can play either role - holding or more like a Steve Sidwell going forward getting on the end of crosses. He's got both assets in the locker. He's flexible - you have to be now. He will cope very well with anything, I'm sure."

Make your own mind up about Akpan! Subscribers can watch him in action against us for Crawley on Reading FC Player - and  for our reserves at QPR on Tuesday by clicking here.

If you haven't subscribed yet - now's the perfect time. It's just £18.99 during our January sale, and here are the sort of videos you'll be able to have unlimited access to on a regular basis....