'Strange' Aston Villa v Newcastle United decision slammed by Eddie Howe

General view of Aston Villa's Villa Park. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)General view of Aston Villa's Villa Park. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
General view of Aston Villa's Villa Park. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) | Getty Images
The kick-off times have been unfair on Newcastle United supporters for trips to Fulham and Aston Villa.

For the second time in four days, Newcastle United fans are facing difficult travel arrangements to make way for the TV companies.

The Magpies' visit to Fulham in the FA Cup last Saturday was moved to a 7pm kick-off by ITV but the last train back to Tyneside was 9pm, meaning hundreds - if not thousands - of supporters were forced to fork out for an overnight stay in London.

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Meanwhile, this evening's Premier League visit to Aston Villa, which is being broadcasted live on TNT Sports, kick-offs at 8:15pm. It'll after 10pm when Newcastle fans will leave Villa Park where many will embark on the long journey home during the early hours on Wednesday morning.

General view of Aston Villa's Villa Park. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)General view of Aston Villa's Villa Park. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
General view of Aston Villa's Villa Park. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The two kick-off times have angered supporters, and Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe is fully on their side.

Speaking at Monday's press conference, Howe said: "Both kick-off times (are) strange. It looks like a lack of care for the supporters when you consider the loyalty and passion that the Newcastle supporters show.

"You know there is going to be huge numbers that want to go to the game. We thank them for their support and sympathise with the travel arrangements.

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Howe also spoke prior to the Fulham game and said: “We’re all at the mercy of the TV companies and when they want to schedule games. Not enough consideration is given to supporters and what they have to do to get to and from games.

“To get back from London at that time is incredibly difficult and my sympathies are with our supporters on that.

“When I look at the support we have had away from home, with some very difficult places to find and to navigate to and from, it has just been incredible. I’d love things to be easier for them in a game like this but we are at the mercy of the scheduling.”

Howe's men head to Villa Park having won just once away from home in the Premier League this campaign - an 8-0 win at Sheffield United in September.

Villa, meanwhile, hold the best home record in the top-flight having collected 28 points from a possible 30. Eleven points currently separate the two teams in the league table.

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