Published: 05:00, 13 October 2021
Jack Tucker made his 100th appearance for Gillingham on Saturday - but manager Steve Evans admitted it wasn’t his best.
Tucker was beaten in the box as Wycombe Wanderers opened the scoring inside two minutes and Evans reckons the defender just needs to keep his focus.
The 21-year-old appears to have a big future in the game but is still learning.
Evans said: “When we walked in he was on a note of paper to be released and he has done incredibly well.
“It was his 100th appearance but I would say he has played a lot more of them very well.
“He was not at his best, against their striker who was superb and they then bring Bayo (Akinfenwa) on and he is going to be what Bayo is, he can’t run a yard but my god he can dominate centre backs.”
Evans hopes his young defender can concentrate on his game and ignore what’s been said about his future.
He said: “I think some parts of his game maybe he is listening to people tell him where he is going to go and where he is going to play. I think it has effected his decision making on the pitch, you just want to leave kids like that alone and let them naturally develop in their own environment.”
Tucker made his Gillingham debut in October 2017, as the Gills were beaten 1-0 at home to Portsmouth in the league. He came off the bench that day to play the second half.
It was Evans who handed him his first league start, almost two years later, in a home game against Ipswich Town. Tucker has gone onto be a regular starter under the Gills boss.
Tucker signed an extension to his contract in December 2019, on a deal thought to run until the end of the current campaign. That came after the club turned down an offer from an unnamed Championship side.
The defender was recently asked about speculation regarding his own future but shrugged it off, saying: “I am contracted here and I am enjoying playing my football here...I have been here since a kid and it is always an honour to put a Gills shirt on. I am not thinking ahead or anything like that.”
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