BOSSES IN MIND GAMES AS PACE HOTS US

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFFS 2ND LEG PREVIEWS -

CRYS­TAL Palace man­ager Ian Hol­loway has poured cold wa­ter on op­po­site num­ber Gus Poyet’s in­sis­tence that Brighton are favourites to reach Wem­b­ley.

The Uruguayan said af­ter Fri­day’s 0-0 draw at Sel­hurst Park that his side were “in a bet­ter po­si­tion than be­fore the match” and that home ad­van­tage meant the bal­ance was tipped 60/40 in the Seag­ulls’ favour.

But Hol­loway – whose side were thrashed 3-0 at the Amex in March – be­lieves Poyet is sim­ply play­ing mind games.

“That’s just typ­i­cal isn’t it?” he said.“In th­ese games you have to talk it up and say what you be­lieve.Well, I be­lieve it’s 60/40 in our favour. I be­lieve in my play­ers and I be­lieve we can win.

“But what bear­ing has that got on any­thing? What mat­ters is that both teams have to go there and han­dle the oc­ca­sion.

“We did it here, so now let’s see if we can do it again. It’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity, but we have to do a lot bet­ter than we did at their ground than we did last time.”

Hol­loway be­lieves Brighton would have been viewed as favourites even if his side had taken one of sev­eral sec­ond-half chances that came their way at Sel­hurst Park.

“You saw the threat in Wil­fried Zaha and Jonny Wil­liams,” he said.“Dik­ga­coi should have scored.We fin­ished the game quite strongly.

“But even if we’d scored you’d have all been say­ing Brighton are favourites.”

CHANCE: Ian Hol­loway

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