Brighton & Hove Albion manager Gus Poyet has called on the club’s supporters to lift the players ahead of tonight’s (Monday) play-off semi-final second leg against bitter rivals Crystal Palace at the Amex Stadium.
The tie is finely balanced after the two sides drew 0-0 in the first leg, and the former Chelsea man anticipates another close encounter with both sides only 90 minutes away from a trip to Wembley for the play-off final on the 27thMay.
Poyet told the club’s official website: “There will not be a winner by many goals so let’s see if we can use our home advantage.
“This tie is 50/50 but I would always want to play in front of my fans. To create an unbelievable atmosphere is very important. There are moments in the game when you are doing well, and the fans are there, which subconsciously helps you even more and puts the opposition down a bit.
“That will be key, but I don’t think we need to ask for anything more from them because we are playing against Palace, so it will be amazing.”
Former Seagulls player Glenn Murray was stretched off in the first leg with suspected cruciate ligament damage, and last week’s man-of-the-match Liam Bridcutt admits it was sad to see the striker leave the field, even though he was playing for the opposition.
The 24-year-old said: “In football you always hate to see players get injured, and even more so that it was Glenn. He’s a close friend of ours and a great player so we hope he gets well soon.”
Poyet has no fresh injury worries for the game, top scorer Craig Mackail-Smith is still missing with an achilles injury, while Will Hoskins (knee) and Bruno (Calf) are also out of this evening’s pivotal clash on the south coast.
The winner will meet Gianfranco Zola's Watford in the final after they beat Leicester City 3-2 on aggregate.