Published: 06:00, 29 July 2021
Gillingham defender Jack Tucker says he’s in great shape despite the 10-day break the squad had to endure because of Covid isolation rules.
The young centre-half came through 90 minutes against Millwall on Tuesday night just days after a full game and a man-of-the-match performance at Colchester.
Prior to those two matches Gillingham’s pre-season was interrupted by a Covid outbreak in the squad that left Tucker doing laps of his garden to keep fit.
Reflecting on that period, he said: “It was tough because obviously you are not legally allowed to leave your house, you have to isolate, but I did as much as I could in my garden and with the equipment I have at home.
“It was boring as anything stuck inbetween those four walls all day but it was great to be back when we did finally get back. It had felt like forever but now we are back in the swing of things if feels like we were never away.
“I had done some cardio workouts in the garden and (fitness coach) Jamma looked after us. You have to make do with what you have got.
“It didn’t take long to get back into the swing of things and I have played two 90 minuets since then, I feel as good as I can be and obviously as the matches keep coming I will get better.
“I am feeling good and the aim is to be running at full flow by the time Lincoln comes around (for the first game of the season on August 7).”
Tucker was partnered back alongside Max Ehmer for the match with Millwall and they came close to a clean sheet, missing out as the visitors capitalised from a corner.
“It was a good test and we held our own,” said 21-year-old Tucker.
“It was good to have Max back, we know how each other plays, how to look after each other and it is like he has never been away.
“Millwall are good at what they do but we dealt with it pretty well on the whole, although it was disappointing to concede at the end. That is what Millwall do, they are a big side, they score from set-pieces.
“It is disappointing not to have dealt with that in the latter stages of the game but other than that we did well. We had a lot of young lads on the pitch at the end of the game and I thought they did well against a physical side, it was a good experience for them, they were spot on.”