Portsmouth boss' forceful belief over skipper stepping up again with former Cardiff City and Bristol City set for Championship return

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John Mousinho has absolutely no doubts about Marlon Pack’s credentials for a Championship return.

And the Pompey boss underlined his skipper’s importance as his on-field lieutenant and leader, as they return to the second tier next term.

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Talks are continuing between Pack and the Blues over a new deal, after he guided his hometown club to the League One title.

Mousinho has stated his quiet confidence an agreement can be reached for the Buckland boy to lead out his team in the second tier.

The 33-year-old would be returning to a level he left two years ago, after he left Cardiff City following a six-year stay with Bristol City.

Pack has shown himself to be a vastly experienced Championship performer in his career, clocking up 269 appearances across seven seasons at that level.

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Mousinho sees no reason for the midfielder not to again be a strong influence at that level, fuelled by the desire to establish his club in the division he knows best.

He said: ‘It’s an interesting one, because people do chuck this phrase around too lightly: but Marlon understands the football club.

‘That doesn’t have to mean you’re born and bred here and have come through the youth team, but he does understand what it means to play for Portsmouth.

‘I think it helps that he’s been on the other side of the barrier at the party on the common, he’s been the other side of the hoardings at games as a season-ticket holder.

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‘He gets that and that’s the sentiment part of it, but he’s also a really good player on the pitch.

‘Marlon is a coach as well on the pitch a lot of the time, he’s a leader on the dressing room, too.

‘He ticks a lot of the boxers you want in a club captain.

‘He’s brilliant on that side of it, but he’s been brilliant on the pitch and picked up player of the season awards. 

‘He’s been in the EFL team of the year and been in the top three players in the league. It’s all thoroughly deserved by his performances on the pitch.

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‘That is probably more important or as important as the sentiment and getting the football club, but also he deserves to play at the next level - and we think he’s more than good enough.’

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