Torquay United: Chris Hargreaves slams 'unfair' Conference fixtures

Chris Hargreaves
Torquay have won eight and drawn three of their 14 Conference matches to date this season

Torquay United manager Chris Hargreaves believes scheduling of Conference matches is unfair.

The Gulls dropped from third to fifth in the league after not playing a midweek game while 20 of the 24 teams in the division did have matches.

Woking, Eastleigh and Braintree also had no fixture on Tuesday or Wednesday.

"We've worked hard to be in the position we're in, we shouldn't have to play catch-up because of the league's fixture structure," Hargreaves said.

Torquay next travel to face Alfreton at 17:30 BST on Saturday, while the league's other 11 fixtures kick-off at 15:00 BST. Had Conference leaders the Gulls could have theoretically been 11 points behind the Bees before they were next in action.

Hargreaves on midweek Conference fixtures
"If you can tell me that everyone else will be in the same boat, then it's fair, if they're not, then it's not fair."

"I'm still baffled as to why we could possibly have been 11 points behind Barnet after Saturday's game, I just can't work out the fixtures," Hargreaves told BBC Sport.

"We don't play and everyone else does, so they've got one up. Then we don't play and everyone else plays before us - I just can't work it out."

Barnet will have played two more games than Torquay come Tuesday, 21 October when they host Braintree, that week's only midweek game in the Conference,

The Gulls will only return to the same number of games played as the London side on Tuesday, 9 December.

There is not one set of midweek fixtures between now and the end of the season when all 24 sides in the Conference play at the same time.

"Some teams will have had two games before we've even kicked off and I'd rather have the points in the bag than the games. Games in hand are a nonsense, they're insignificant because it just heaps up the pressure.

"If you can tell me that everyone else will be in the same boat, then it's fair, if they're not, then it's not fair."

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