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Cheltenham Town video: Midfield mismatch talk is wide of the mark - Pack

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

Battle:  Marlon Pack attempts to get the ball off Everton's Leon Osman in Monday's FA Cup tie

Battle: Marlon Pack attempts to get the ball off Everton's Leon Osman in Monday's FA Cup tie

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MARLON Pack has rubbished claims that he and Darren Carter cannot play together in Cheltenham Town's midfield.

The former Portsmouth youngster was named in the League Two team of the year last season for his influential performances, forming what boss Mark Yates regarded as the best central three in the division along with Luke Summerfield and Russ Penn.

Summerfield departed for Shrewsbury Town in the summer and his place has been taken by Carter, who is on the comeback trail from a year-long injury absence having previously enjoyed the high life with Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion.

Carter started in a deep-lying role next to Pack, with Penn more advanced, but he has shown in recent weeks he is far more comfortable given attacking licence.

In Monday night's FA Cup third round tie against Everton Pack sat in front of the back four, attempting to get to grips with Belgian star Marouane Fellaini who played just off striker Nikica Jelavic for the Premier League side.

The 21-year-old has been the first to admit his form has not yet reached the heights of last term, but he remains adamant he and Carter's attributes complement each other well.

"Of course we can play together, and it's like when people say Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard can't play together for England," Pack said.

"I am not comparing us with those two in terms of quality, but I think we have showed against Everton we can work well together and I was pleased with our performance in midfield overall.

"People have probably said we can't play together because we went on a bit of a dodgy run and neither of us were doing as well as we'd like, but it's stupid because we can definitely work together.

"I want to start against York at home on Saturday, play well consistently and keep my place for the rest of the season."

Pack said the Everton match was one to cherish, despite the final scoreline showing a 5-1 victory for David Moyes' side.

The experience of testing himself against Leon Osman and Phil Neville has made him even more determined to work his way back up the footballing ladder.

"When Osman had the ball at his feet it was so hard to nick it off him," Pack said.

"Neville keeps it simple and gives it to his team-mates in more advanced positions.

"I learned a lot from both of them and I will watch the DVD and analyse it over and over again. For a young lad, to pit your wits against them is a dream and you dream of playing in these games as a kid. It's made me even more hungry to play at a higher level."

Pack ended up with Thomas Hitzlsperger's shirt after the game.

He said: "All the Everton players were great afterwards, wishing us all the best for the season. I was hoping for Fellaini's, but Jake Taylor was on to him as soon as he went on, so I got Hitzlsperger's which wasn't bad as he's scored some screamers in the Premier League."

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