Brighton & Hove Albion defender Bernardo admitted it would be extra special to reward the club’s supporters with a victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park this afternoon, as the Seagulls look to record back-to-back Premier League wins.
The Brazilian will be hoping to retain his place in Chris Hughton’s starting line-up against the Eagles, and he assessed what’s at stake for both teams and their supporters this weekend.
He said, “It’s a big game and it would be extra special to get this victory against our rival as a present to our fans, but at the end of the day it’s just another three points for the team.
“Apart from the three points making a difference for both teams in the league table, the fact of winning a derby would also boost confidence.
“But it you lose the match, it’s the opposite. You get closer to the relegation zone and you have the frustration of losing a derby — but let’s just see what happens!”
Bernardo played the full 90 minutes in Albion’s 3-1 victory over Palace back in December, and the 23-year-old reflected on a memorable match at the Amex Stadium, ahead of Saturday’s reverse fixture.
“The first game was a really special game for me — it was only the second time that I played at home and was the first derby I played in my career.
“I didn’t have the chance to play one in Germany or Brazil, so it was a special feeling for me. The atmosphere was very different and the fans were very excited.
“It was a really good match for me and my confidence. For the team, winning any match is nice, but winning a derby is a really special feeling.”
The Seagulls pulled themselves five points clear of the relegation zone after last weekend’s 1-0 victory against Huddersfield Town, and Bernardo urged his team-mates to remain focused on securing their top-flight status.
“I think we have enough quality to remain in this league. I don’t think we’re one of the three worst teams here, but football is not always fair.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re the best team in the league, if you don’t perform on the pitch there’s still a possibility that you could go down.
“We should still be aware of the place we are in the table, because we’re not safe yet. I wish things were more relaxed at this period of the season, but it’s up to us to keep our distance from the relegation zone.”