LEE CLARK is hoping to see Shrewsbury beat Gillingham in today’s League II play-off final – for the sake of Town’s travelling faithful.
The relegation of Southampton (231 miles away), Charlton (197) and Norwich (176) and automatic promotion of Exeter (273), Brentford (191) and Wycombe (186) to League I means both players and supporters will rack up the miles next season, when Town will have only three trips of less than 50 miles (Leeds, Oldham and Stockport).
With the possibility of Millwall (201 miles away) also remaining on the fixture list – they face Scunthorpe (63) in the League I play-off final tomorrow – Clark is keen to see Shrewsbury (101) defeat Gillingham (230).
“I’ve no particular allegiance to Shrewsbury or Gillingham,” said Clark, who will be at Wembley today.
“But we already have a string of long journeys, so it would be nice to get the shorter one.
“It’s not so bad for the squad, because we have the luxury of overnight stops, but for the fans, it’s tough, especially when making long trips in midweek.
“I know they’ll still come wherever we’re playing, and we’re all really grateful for that, but it would be good to ease the travelling.”
Meanwhile Clark’s second in command Terry McDermott says the entire Town management team are praying Alan Shearer can save Newcastle from the drop when the Premier League reaches its conclusion tomorrow.
McDermott, below, started the season as Newcastle’s assistant manager (to Kevin Keegan).
Newcastle must get a minimum of a point against Aston Villa and hope other results go their way.
“Alan and Newcastle are in Steve McQueen territory now, riding the motorbike looking for a way over the barbed wire,” said McDermott.
“It is the football club’s version of the Great Escape.
“In these situations you can only be belligerent and cling to hope.
“It is not all over.
“Dafter things have happened on the final day of the season.”