Plymouth reject Pompey cup plea

Plymouth Argyle manager Carl Fletcher
Plymouth Argyle manager Carl Fletcher
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Plymouth have rejected Pompey’s suggestion of moving the date of their Capital One Cup clash.

The Home Park fixture has now been confirmed as Tuesday, August 14.

Michael Appleton had been keen for the first-round match to be switched to Saturday, August 11 – a blank pre-season fixture day for both clubs.

Pompey’s boss was concerned over the long trip to Devon just days before the League One campaign kicks off at Fratton Park against Bournemouth on Saturday, August 18.

The indication was the Football League would have approved that had Plymouth – as the home side – agreed.

It is likely it would also have attracted a higher gate.

However, Plymouth boss Carl Fletcher has insisted the match remains a midweek fixture and the date has now been set in stone. For Appleton, though, there is disappointment over the decision.

He said: ‘I had a conversation with Plymouth in terms of when they wanted the fixture to be played and they insisted it stays midweek.

‘At the end of the day they are the home team and it is in their hands but it is a bit of a shame.

‘Moving it back to that Saturday would be ideal from our point of view because it’s a long trip, although I can see why they want it midweek.

‘They know we will have to travel a long way, so I’ve got an idea that comes into their thinking a little bit.

‘Still, it is what it is. We were in their hands and this is their decision, so we have just got to deal with it as best as we possibly can.

‘I’ve just got to look at it and decide how we now handle this and whether we travel down on the day of the game or whatever.’

The Capital One Cup fixture marks the beginning of both sides’ seasons.

That is down to the League One campaign starting days later.

It also represents the first time the clubs have met competitively at Home Park since a League Cup match in August 1998 – Alan Ball’s side winning 3-1.

And Fletcher is comfortable with the decision to keep it as a midweek fixture.

The Plymouth boss said: ‘It’s ideal, really.

‘It’s good for us in terms of what we have planned out preparation-wise for pre-season.’