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Hodgson discusses 'important' Brighton rivalry

9 March 2019

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson spoke in his pre-match press conference yesterday, where he discussed the rivalry between the Eagles and tomorrow's opponent Brighton & Hove Albion.

He addressed what he described as a "derby game," emphasising that its significance to Palace supporters affects the players.

He said: "It's a derby game really, that’s how we and our supporters regard it. I think that rivalry was fiercest years ago, of course there has been quite some time where the two teams had not been in the same division. It was renewed with a vengeance last year when Brighton came up and are doing very, very well.

"I suppose that people from the outside need to reaslise that we regard this as a very, very important fixture and one which means a lot to our fans. You’re affected by it, the way the fans feel, that’s what derbies do.

"They fire everybody up because we're so much more aware of what it means to the people who follow us every week. The bragging rights that the fans take with them when they go to their work-place is important. I'm pretty sure that Chris Hughton will, like myself, revert to the fact that it's a very important Premier League game with three points at stake."

Match Previews

The Palace Preview: Brighton and Hove Albion

9 March 2019

And when asked about how he prepares the Palace squad not only for the game but for the renowned Selhurst Park atmosphere, Hodgson suggested that his players will ready themselves for a significant game but that Selhurst will be its usual roaring self, regardless of the side it hosts.

He said: "We can't ask our teams any more than to work really hard and do their level best to win the game. There is no magic formula to winning a game just because it happens to be a derby that you think is more important. You prepare them [the players] to give a good performance and to remind them of the importance of this game to the fans. But standing on the touchline, the atmosphere and tension at Selhurst Park is enormous whoever we play.

"For us it's a big game, it's one of the nine big games we have remaining. We do realise the importance of the occasion and to a lot of supporters, this means more than even a game against Man United. We have to make certain that when we go on the field, we're ready for that game and don't allow our performances to be affected by anything other than the performance we need to win the game."

The Eagles host the Seagulls at 12.30 today, and you can listen to full commentary of how they get on via Palace Audio. Click here for more!

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