John Mousinho hails Portsmouth's unlikely attacking inspiration as ex-Cardiff and Bristol City man shines in victory over Peterborough
Marlon Pack was the unlikely figure involved in all three goals during the Blues’ eye-catching 3-1 triumph over Darren Ferguson’s visitors on Saturday.
Firstly his pinpoint right-wing cross was headed home by Colby Bishop for a first-half equaliser, then his short corner from the right led to Abu Kamara’s maiden Pompey goal.
Next, on 59 minutes, the 32-year-old’s clever headed pass allowed Kamara to cross from the left, with Regan Poole sliding in at the far post to seal an excellent three points.
It was a magnificent all-round display from man-of-the-match Pack, with Mousinho applauding it as his finest of the season so far.
Not bad from a player widely regarded as a holding midfielder.
Mousinho told The News: ‘That wasn’t the performance of a 32-year-old, he looked energetic and ran the game.
‘Marlon’s a pleasure to have as he is almost a coach on the pitch, while he does a lot with us on the training ground and is a really good sounding board, along with some of the senior players.
‘It’s one of the reasons he was made club captain and played almost every minute of every league game. Saturday was his best performance of the season.
‘He’s got that quality and one of the things we were trying to do against Peterborough was make sure that, even though we played Marlon and Joe close together as sixes, they still have the ability to release.
‘We want to get them involved, especially on the edge of the box.
‘Marlon has that goal-scoring ability, we saw that at the end of last season, when he finished with five goals and was one of our top scorers in the chasing pack behind Colby.
‘So he’s got a huge amount of quality with assists, he can score goals, and he can run games. He’s a terrific, terrific player and leader to have.
‘We are not necessarily looking for him to make those lung-bursting runs into the box, but he can certainly lock off the box on the second phase and be on the edge of it.’
Indeed, Pack netted in Mousinho’s opening game in charge during a 2-0 triumph over Exeter in January.
It would also be voted as the club’s Goal Of The Season by supporters at the End of Season Gala Dinner in May.
Mousinho added: ‘One which really springs to mind is my first game here when we played Exeter.
‘Play developed really quickly down the right, we crossed it, a loopy header back up to the edge of the box, and Marlon scored with a volley.
‘That’s where we want our central midfielders. We don’t want them sitting on the toes of centre-backs, we can always get a full-back to come in and shove out one of the midfielders, for lack of a better term.
‘We do want him to get involved.’