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First Team

Boss Shares Fans Passion For Derby Game

7 January 2018

The Emirates FA Cup tie at the Amex Stadium on Monday will be the first meeting in the competition since the replay at Stamford Bridge in 1976 and it is one that Roy Hodgson knows will mean that extra bit more to fans as it was that match which set this meeting up as a derby game.

The contest being called that is always something that confuses some due to the distance between both venues but Hodgson knows that when the draw was made a third round tie between the Eagles and Seagulls would produce that extra attention.

"All of us at the club take on board that over the years this game between ourselves and Brighton has become a derby game and we all share the supporters passion and enthusiasm and therefore it’s a big responsibility as manager of one of the clubs because you know that your fans have decided this is one of the games of the year and they would like to see us win it.

“It’s an FA Cup game and you get who you are drawn against and even with the rivalry you must do the right things by the club and not be swayed by emotional issues but both myself and Chris Hughton will be putting out a team for that game that we think will be the right one at that moment in time.”

The two sides only met in November when both took a share of the points in a 0-0 draw but the manager is looking forward to his fans enjoying a return visit to the south coast and all that comes with watching from the stands during a derby contest and hopes they play their part in determining the outcome of the tie.

“We want to be supported as we normally are and we really appreciate the way they always do but we want our fans to behave absolutely correctly at all times and to bring credit to the club and I think if you ask people within the Premier League what they think or our support I am sure you would get a very positive answer so it’s important that positivity is enhanced and shown on the night to help the team in the right way."

In 2016 the club came within nine minutes of winning the trophy having lead by a Jason Puncheon goal against Manchester United but Louis van Gaal's side came back to win the competition. Even though going into Monday’s game Hodgson would love to think that he could be leading his side out at the final in May but believes that fans would share with him where priorities are when considering the club’s end of season targets.

“When I came in to the club there was an enormous threat of relegation hanging over us and I don’t think there will be one fan who would really say they don’t care if we get relegated but just give us a good cup run. I can’t see that view being put forward anymore as, like myself, they understand that we have got to balance these two things and do the very best job we can in both competitions but to know whether it will lead us to that enormous success of a couple of years ago at this moment of time seems far off."

Watch the full pre-match press conference now or if reading on the App go to the Palace TV channel. 

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