Macauley Bonne answered his critics with a goal on Saturday but Gillingham manager Neil Harris was never in doubt about his main man upfront.
Striker Bonne netted his first goal for the Gills on Saturday after 11 appearances, scoring on the volley in only the second minute against Mansfield. It took a top save from keeper Christy Pym to deny him another.
The Gills, and Bonne in particular, had received criticism for not making their chances count the week before against Doncaster but Harris had no doubts about sticking with the former QPR and Charlton front-man.
Following Bonne’s goal, Harris said: “His performances have warranted it, he’s been excellent.
“He knows as well as I do that strikers get judged on scoring, that is a fact, but his all-round game has been exceptional.
“We saw another excellent performance (against Mansfield), he led the line brilliantly, took his goal fantastically well and good saves from the goalkeeper stopped him from adding to his tally.
“He is an important focal point of our team at the moment and I am really pleased for him to get off the mark.
“He was disappointed last week at Doncaster and accepted criticism that he hadn’t got on the scoresheet from poor finishing but I reminded him over the last few days, how well he had done to get into those positions, how well he had been playing.
“His all-round game has been exceptional and we are creating him chances, which is the biggest thing.
“As a striker, you want confidence from creating chances and his finishing in training had been very good, a high standard. He just needed to translate that into the game and I am delighted for him to get off the mark and another very good assist from Connor Mahoney.”
Mahoney has been a goal provider in the last five games and scored a top goal himself against Morecambe.
Harris is delighted that his class is shining through.
He said: “Goal involvements is why we brought him to the football club, we have had to tidy him up a little bit, like I have done in the past, just to get him back to good habits without the ball, to be a good team player, but ultimately he has got quality with the ball, he has confidence and he is enjoying his football.
“He has become a father for the second time this week and he was missing for five days, he trained Friday, and again we had to be mindful of him in the latter stages of the game.
“I don’t like to take him off because at any moment he can provide that moment of magic whether it’s from a dead ball situation or from open play, but it was the sensible thing to do.
“He is showing his qualities and last week, playing as a no.10 attacking midfielder, behind the front, he was really good as well and then his best position certainly on the right-hand side, drifting in onto his left foot.”