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Midfield Competition Is So Strong - Pack

Marlon Pack admits he wouldn’t relish being in the head coach’s shoes when it comes to picking his midfielders this season.

The 25-year-old has experienced life in and out of the team, something he puts down to the number of options available to Lee Johnson in the middle of the park.

However, Pack insists competition for places is essential for any successful team.

He told Bristol City Player HD: “You’ve got Gaz (O’Neil) who has played at the highest level, Korey (Smith) is coming back to fitness, Bobby (Reid) has done really well this year and Browny (Josh Brownhill) is coming through.

“That strength in depth and quality has made it tough for the gaffer and we’ve tried a number of different combinations.

“The competition for places in midfield, and across the team, is so strong.

“It certainly keeps you on your toes and that’s what you need in professional football if you want to do well.”

City have won once in their last seven matches, a run which has seen them slip down to tenth in the Sky Bet Championship table.

However, by common consensus the Robins have performed a lot better than their recent results suggest.  Next up is a trip to Reading tomorrow (3pm).

“We were disappointed to lose at Birmingham last weekend but I think it was a positive performance, given the amount of chances we created,” Pack added.

“Hopefully we can replicate that kind of performance and turn our chances into goals this weekend at Reading.

“It will be a tough place to go because they’re on a good run.

“We’ll do our homework leading up to the game and make sure we’re prepared.

“Last season (a late 1-0 defeat) was frustrating and you do tend to have that in the back of your mind.

“At the same time, they’ve got a new manager now (Jaap Stam) and we’ve changed gaffer since that game as well.

“We’re on a bit of a bad run and we want that to change. It’s Championship football and you’re never going to have it all your own way.

“Any kind of experience we can take from last year will aid us as we look to get back to winning ways.”

City will have a 3,200-plus travelling support at the Madejski Stadium, the largest of all away games so far this season.

“You enjoy the away games when you’ve got such a big following,” Pack continued.

“I remember back at Coventry and last season at Fulham when I scored, and also the crowd at Fulham earlier this year – the noise was tremendous.

“They’re sure to make a lot of noise again this weekend and hopefully that can spur us on to get the result we need.”

City fans will be able to pay on the day at Reading at non-member prices.