Hughton targets derby victory for Albion fans

Albion boss Chris Hughton pictured at Old Trafford on Saturday. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Albion boss Chris Hughton pictured at Old Trafford on Saturday. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Brighton boss Chris Hughton expects a tough test against arch rivals Crystal Palace tomorrow night but is targeting victory for the Seagulls fans.

The match is the first meeting between the sides for four years and Hughton admits he has been impressed with Palace in recent weeks and expects them to start climbing the Premier League table under Roy Hodgson.

When asked about the rivalry, Hughton said: "I've been made more aware of the rivalry in my time here than before. I know Crystal Palace as a club very well and know Brighton as a club very well and played against both clubs.

"It's only when you're here, even in that first season, that the rivalry becomes more apparent and the reasons for it. I am conscious of that and it's very much one for the supporters of both clubs.

"As with any derby game, it's one you want to win for the supporters.

"The atmosphere at the Amex has got better and better in my time here. They're all enthused by being in the Premier League which has, if anything, made it a more vocal stadium.

"And it becomes natural when you're playing against your rivals that it goes up another notch."

Palace have lost all six of their Premier League away games this season but Hughton said: "You can't afford to read anything into it, they've got quality players.

"I've seen them play on four occasions this season and on all four occasions they've been very good. I can only presume what's happened to them is the margins in the game. Sometimes winning games or losing games can become momentum or a rhythm.

"But they have a very good team and very good individuals. I have no doubt they'll start climbing up this table."

Palace manager Roy Hodgson says his players have to keep their head for the match, which kicks-off at 7.45pm. He said: "I know the rivalry's very strong and dates back a long time. We have several as a London club, but this one is the most important one for the fans.

"Players need to play with their head and their heart, but there needs to be a balance. You have to keep your head.

"Winning away from home would be good. We've not taken a point yet. We have improved in terns of our approach and I know points will come. It'd be nice if they came this week."