Stance on Distance

DEREK Adams has every sympathy for Carlisle United’s fans who face a 15-hour 778-mile round-trip to see their team in action on Tuesday night, but aims only to add to their misery.

After two home defeats in four days, the Argyle manager is eager to mark his Pilgrims’ reign with a win at Home Park, to which the soul-less Sky Bet league 2 fixtures computer has sent them in midweek.

Seventy-nine hardy United fans set out on the longest journey in English football early on Tuesday morning, and it will be post-dawn on Wednesday before they arrive home.

“It’s not fair to the supporters,” said Derek. “Not many travel long distances on a Tuesday night. But you can tell the computer system that and the computer system will not listen; it’s not individuals, but a computer that churns out the fixtures and there’s nothing else you can do about it.

“It’s disappointing as Carlisle will not want to travel; it’s a long journey and, in the midweek, supporters will find it very difficult to get here. That’s the nature of the fixtures at the start of the season – some you’re happy with some, you’re unhappy with others. That’s just the beauty of the game.

“When we go away from home, on a Tuesday evening, to some places, our fans find it difficult.”

The return match between League 2’s long-distance rivals is no kinder on the Pilgrims. The reverse fixture in extreme north west of England is on January 2, which means New Year’s Day on the road for the Greens and the Green Army. 

Derek said: “We’ve got a hectic [Christmas] period, when there are three or four games that are away from home – the likes of Hartlepool, Newport, Carlisle – so that’s not helpful to us, but I’m not complaining.”