Cardiff have been reinvigorated since Neil Harris took over as manager, and a play-off push looks to be on the cards heading into the second-half of the season.
The Bluebirds entertained Preston last Saturday and were strong throughout but didn’t manage to find a breakthrough as they drew 0-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium.
One player who particularly stood out was midfielder Marlon Pack who managed to battle hard with Preston’s impressive midfield and go toe to toe with players such as Alan Browne and Ben Pearson.
Throughout the game he was physical and had a lot to say in the middle of the park as Cardiff produced a more battling performance than they have done in previous appearances.
Harris is wanting them to play more football on the ground whilst also maintaining that physical threat that they have always posed right the way through Neil Warnock’s time as manager of the club.
Since Pack joined from Bristol City in the summer, he’s been a crucial member of the Bluebirds midfield and seems to have become an important option in the centre.
On the weekend, Pack managed to win 100% of his aerial duels during the game. A staggering statistic and one that shows he’s able to cope with any long-ball threat from other sides, as well as utilising his own side’s direct football.
He isn’t just good at the physical side of the game though, Pack was able to finish the match with a pass accuracy of 78% which is excellent for a central midfielder that isn’t just told to play the short passes that sides such as Leeds and Fulham do.
As well as this, he was able to complete over 50% of his passes that went forward which gives the Cardiff forwards something to work with.
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To improve, Pack has to make sure that he continues to do the dirty side of the game. This comes in tackling and interceptions. On Saturday, the 28-year-old made just one interception and that is something that he would have been disappointed with, considering the position that he’s currently playing in.
He did massively contribute to the clean sheet, and will hope that he can build on this good run of form on Boxing Day when the Bluebirds take on Millwall.