The Selhurst Shout: Brighton and Blackpool mind game attempts justify Palace’s credentials

12:58 20 November 2012

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Gus Poyet. Photo credit: Andrew Matthews/PA wire

Brighton & Hove Albion manager Gus Poyet. Photo credit: Andrew Matthews/PA wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Being top of the league means everyone else wants to beat you. In Crystal Palace’s case this lust for glory against the table-toppers has also become evident off the pitch.

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Name: Daniel Smith

Twitter handle: @dmsmith1987

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Favourite player: Glenn Murray

Most memorable game: Brighton 1 Palace 3 (2011-12)

Predicted finish: Mid-table

Whether they can be classed as mind games or not, two representatives from fellow Championship clubs have recently made comments to the media that could be seen as attempts to unsettle the Eagles.

Firstly, Brighton manager Gus Poyet stated in Sussex newspaper the Argus that winger Will Buckley is better than Wilfried Zaha.

Blackpool's Ian Evatt. Photo credit: Barrington Coombs/EMPICSBlackpool's Ian Evatt. Photo credit: Barrington Coombs/EMPICS

Secondly, Blackpool defender Ian Evatt has been quoted by BBC Radio Lancashire as being critical of Ian Holloway’s last few weeks in charge of the Seasiders, particularly attacking the training methods of the now Palace boss.

The common denominator between these two different sources is that the Eagles face both teams in their next two home games.

"Confidence is sky-high and this is a team playing with an enormous amount of self belief, so hearing these words actually justifies the work and effort they are putting in"

Daniel Smith on comments from Brighton and Blackpool about Crystal Palace

There will be people, mainly from those individual clubs, who believe and support both comments but this is of no concern to Palace.

It is a natural part of being the team everyone wants to beat. In advance of our upcoming fixtures, opponents now seem to feel it is necessary to try and plant seeds of doubt in the minds of our players and manager, just to allow them to linger.

However, confidence is sky-high and this is a team playing with an enormous amount of self belief, so hearing these words actually justifies the work and effort they are putting in.

While opponents down the line are putting their two cents in, credit should be given to the managers of our actual next two opponents. Neil Warnock and Steve Bruce of Leeds and Hull respectively have been in the hot-seat at Selhurst Park in the past and yet, as of the time of writing, have stuck to talking about their own teams.

This of course may change as the games approach and, in the build-up to a game it is more understandable, but the fact they have steered clear of Palace as a subject is worthy of comparison with Poyet and Evatt.

These sorts of things are part of football; everyone knows of the mythical powers of Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson and his mind games.

Clearly, our performances are beginning to be taken seriously by our opponents, which is something regular attendees through the gates at Selhurst would certainly agree is overdue.

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