Jack Tucker reacts following a heart-breaking late defeat at home to Pompey.
Young Jack Tucker had just been announced "Man of the Match" for another trademark gritty and determined display as the Gills appeared to be heading for a well-earned point with Sky Bet League One giants Portsmouth.
Moments later, and with barely seconds left, Michael Jacobs fired in a hopeful shot for the visitors which took a cruel deflection off an unfortunate Tucker to break the hearts of the ME7 faithful.
Tucker, who admitted it was a “devastating” finish after such a strong performance, is still certain that the Gills are more than capable of getting clear of danger.
“The fans have been behind us so we wanted to give them something to go home with, but it didn’t happen,” he said after the painful loss. “I think they will appreciate the effort and quality. It hurts us as much as I’m sure it hurts them. We didn’t deserve it. All we can do is keep working hard for them, because they are spending their hard-earned money to support us.
"Stick with us and we’ll turn the results around soon. We are capable of getting out of the relegation dogfight and getting higher up the league.
“I thought we played well and limited a good team to a few chances. We were solid at the back and we also created a few going forward. In hindsight, we could have tested the keeper a bit more than we did. We had a penalty shout in front of the Rainham End which looked nailed on. It was gut wrenching the way the goal went in at the end, it just came off my leg and it’s just one of those things; when your lucks out, your lucks out. It’s disappointing the way we have conceded and lost the game because I felt we definitely deserved at least a point.”
The fixtures aren’t getting any easier for the Gills, who dropped into the bottom four after the loss, and they return to action when they visit league leaders Rotherham on December 7th. Tucker's luck might be down, but his confidence certainly isn’t.
“We have to do what we need to do to turn this around”, he said. “We have no right to be up the table, we have to play well. It’s time to start getting some results and get winning some games.
“It’s no good saying that we are playing well and defending well when we are losing football matches. We can take heart from the performance and the way we played for 90 minutes. We will look to build on that when we meet Rotherham next game. We know it will be tough but we will go up there to try and get something. We will take a break and refresh ourselves physically and mentally. We will be up for it.”