Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton has called on his side to keep their discipline in this Saturday’s game with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
The Seagulls travel to face Roy Hodgson’s men looking to build on last weekend’s victory over Huddersfield Town at the Amex Stadium, and the boss wants his players to keep their cool in the televised lunchtime contest.
He said, “It’s a derby game and one both sets of fans will always look forward to, and one which they don’t want to be on the losing side of.
“I can only speak of our fans – they’ve been excellent all season, I’m sure they’ll make themselves heard, we have to give them something to cheer about and put in a performance that not only raises our players, but also raises our fans as well.
“It’s about cool heads and keeping yourself controlled too – there’s always a message to take on board about discipline - they’re always good and competitive matches, you have to make sure you take the atmosphere on board and not lose our discipline, and that’s the way we’ll have to play.”
The victory over the Terriers on the south coast was the side’s first of 2019 in the top flight, moving Hughton’s men up to 15th position in the process, and the manager reflected on the feel amongst the squad after the win.
“It’s normal that there’s a nice feel for everyone concerned and then Sunday becomes a good day because of the feeling you have after the victory.
“But what I haven’t seen over the last month or so is a dip in the enthusiasm of the players or a bad feeling around the place.
“Our group also realise that we’ve also had some very tough matches in that period – we had the cup games which helped us too - nobody’s been too down, but the win always gives you a lift.”
It was a match that saw Bernardo return to Premier League action, having not played in the league since the 2-2 draw with West Ham United at the start of the calendar year.
Hughton highlighted the defender’s abilities and also spoke about the adaptation process involved with players coming into England’s top division.
“It’s good to have him back in the fold with us, with him and many other of our players it’s about adapting to the role and the league.
“Once he had his opportunity to have a run in the team he did very well and unfortunately he got injured at the wrong time - he gives us a different dimension with his pace and ability on the ball, so it is good to have him back.
“Overall it takes time for most to adapt – we’ve had a few here who are signed and go straight into the side – Pascal [Gross] is one of those who came in and played the whole season.
“But in some positions, it takes a little bit longer – it’s also about competition, if someone comes in and there’s another player doing well in their place, it is harder.”