Championship play-offs: Ian Holloway claims to have got to grips with the rivalry between Crystal Palace and Brighton

The Eagles manager annoyed some Palace fans earlier this season

It may have taken him a while but Ian Holloway has finally got to grips with Crystal Palace's rivalry with Brighton.

The Eagles manager annoyed some Palace fans following their 3-0 defeat at the Amex in March when he dismissed the derby, between two clubs almost 50 miles apart, as "nonsense".

But ahead of tonight's npower Championship play-off semi-final first leg between the sides at Selhurst Park, Holloway has been left in no doubt about the importance of the fixture.

"All I said was that, with the geography, I was surprised how much they hated each other," he said.

"It doesn't mean that I don't understand how they really do not like each other, and I have got no problem with that.

"This week one bloke collared me and said 'don't you understand yet, don't you understand why we hate them?' I did anyway but don't you think I go about my job in a professional manner and get my lads to want to win? As if I didn't."

The feud stems from a series of controversial clashes between the sides as they both went for promotion in the late 1970s under their charismatic rival bosses Terry Venables and Alan Mullery.

And as the Eagles and the Seagulls prepare to lock wings again, Holloway has called for one of his players to write themselves into Palace folklore.

"I don't think either set of supporters would fancy this game," he added. "They would prefer it to be the final - and even that would be their worst nightmare.

"Ask a Palace fan. Who would you hate to lose to the most? Brighton. That is what the play-offs throw up.

"I'll be challenging one of my lads to be a hero and a Palace legend. But if you miss and they go through you could be the worst Palace player ever - because it's Brighton!

"Whatever happens, I will be one of two things. But I am ready for whatever that is because I am only going to do my best and so are my lads."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world