Published: 06:00, 17 February 2020
Jack Tucker put a few more pounds on his price tag with a man-of-the-match performance against Doncaster but remains fully focused on Gillingham.
An offer had already been turned down for the young defender this season – from an unnamed Championship side – and they’ll be queuing up in the summer even though the 20-year-old has recently signed a new deal.
A brilliant display led to some glowing tributes but the defender dealt with the questions from the press as cooly as he has with any League 1 striker this season.
He said: “I am signed here and my full interest is with Gillingham Football Club.
“I have a great team around me, which I love being a part of. I will keep playing my football here, doing what I do, trying to stay in the team, enjoying my football and see where it takes us.
“I have had the faith put in me by the manager and (assistant) Paul Raynor, which is what you need as a youngster.
“Once you get in there it is about taking your chance, proving their decision was right to show that faith. When you are playing, knowing that they are backing you, it gives you that boost and the confidence to go out there and do what you know you can do.”
Tucker was the standout performer against Doncaster, dealing with Feji Okenabirhie and then Niall Ennis in the second half, along with anyone else who fancied their chances.
“It wasn’t easy at all,” said the defender, commenting on the conditions out on the pitch.
“It was tough, with the swirling winds, you couldn’t predict where the ball was going to go but it was the same for both teams, you have to take it as it comes. In general we dealt with it well.
“As a team we covered each other well throughout the game and in the end we did enough to get the three points. Whoever could deal with the conditions the best was a big factor.
“It was a tight, scrappy game, neither team had many clear-cut chances. We had a bit of luck with the two goals but they were coming.”
It’s onto Southend now tomorrow (Tuesday) night, a team struggling at the wrong end of League 1.
Tucker and the squad won’t be getting carried away, though.
He said: “We know that if we are not on it we will get beaten. Every team in the league will provide a different challenge and every team will cause you problems at some point in the game.
“It is about getting through those spells.
“We are doing well but it is important not to get over confident. There is a difference between being confident and cocky, and we need to find that fine line.
“It is vital we don’t get complacent and under no circumstances will we. The gaffer and Rayns will make sure of that and we know ourselves that no game can be taken for granted. Any team can cause you a problem on their day.
“We have to be solid at the back, which we have been, and hopefully create some chances going forward and hope it’s enough to bring three points back to Priestfield.”
More by this authorLuke Cawdell