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Gillingham defender Jack Tucker hoping to be fit to face Doncaster Rovers after being hurt by Sunderland's Elliot Embleton in red-card challenge


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Jack Tucker is confident of being available in midweek despite being on the receiving end of a shocking challenge against Sunderland.

The late tackle from visiting midfielder Elliot Embleton midway through the second half was described as a “leg-breaker” by Gillingham manager Steve Evans but thankfully Tucker got back to his feet as the Sunderland man was sent off.

Jack Tucker down injured after Elliot Embleton's challenge Picture: Andy Jones
Jack Tucker down injured after Elliot Embleton's challenge Picture: Andy Jones

Evans made it clear what he thought of the challenge, describing it as “absolutely horrendous” and worthy of three red cards.

Tucker said: “I got clattered very late and I don’t think (the red card) was harsh at all. The referee said to me he didn’t have a choice.

“It hurt, but it is one you get on with. I got a bit of ice on it, but I am okay.”

It was a third straight defeat in League 1 for the Gills but they had more than enough chances to have beaten Sunderland. Twenty-five attempts at goal was by far their best total so far this season, forcing visiting keeper Thorben Hoffmann into some stunning saves, including an early one to stop Tucker's long-range strike.

Tucker said: “We were pretty devastated and felt we deserved something from the game. Two sloppy goals on our part is something we need to look at.

“We need to stop conceding goals as sloppy as that but going forward we created some really good chances but they just didn’t fall our way. On another day we could have had three or four. We have to pick ourselves up and make sure we are ready for Tuesday.”

Referee Lee Swabey showing Elliot Embleton a red card for a tackle on Jack Tucker Picture: Andy Jones
Referee Lee Swabey showing Elliot Embleton a red card for a tackle on Jack Tucker Picture: Andy Jones

Doncaster arrive at Priestfield tomorrow (Tuesday) sitting bottom of League 1.

The Gills are just one place above the bottom four.

Looking ahead, Tucker said: “We are not at the right end of the table, where we should be, considering the players we have got. We are more than capable of being higher than we are.

“We will look to get three points soon, because we don’t want to spend too long down the bottom end of the table, then it drags on through the whole season and we can’t make anything of the season. We have a higher aspiration than that, we want to be up there towards the play-offs like last year.

“If we can throw our name in and around there we will have done well. We are aware of where we are in the table but we are not looking at that, trying to stay up, that’s nonsense, we know we are a lot better than that.

“They (Doncaster) haven’t had the best of results but they still have good players and so we will give them the respect that they deserve. We have seen last year what problems they can cause.”

Jack Tucker playing infront of the back four for Gillingham at the weekend Picture: Andy Jones
Jack Tucker playing infront of the back four for Gillingham at the weekend Picture: Andy Jones

Tucker played in an unfamiliar defensive midfield role at the weekend and he took to it well.

“It was completely new to me,” he said. “Not since my school days when I would slot in there for a bit of a laugh, but I am happy to be on the pitch wherever and I had Max (Ehmer) and Benno (Ryan Bennett) behind me who are solid, they were talking in my ear throughout which helped.

“It was a different role but I enjoyed it. I thought I did okay but I am not fussed about my own performance, it is disappointing to have played like that and come away without anything. I’ll keep trying my hardest and hopefully results will start to turn soon.”

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