Gus Poyet knows exactly what Brighton's play-off against Crystal Palace means to the fans - because they will not stop telling him.

The Seagulls and the Eagles lock wings in the semi-final first leg at Selhurst Park in what will be the latest chapter in one of English football's stranger rivalries. Supporters of both clubs have a genuine dislike of each other stemming back to the late 1970s.

"I'm pleased that I'm not living in the Brighton & Hove city because it's as if it's the last game of our lives when you talk to the fans," Poyet said at his pre-match press conference.

"That's credit to the position we have put ourselves in, it shows what we are playing for and that's why we have a beautiful job.

"This team can make so many people happy from a football game, which is great. It's hard work as you have to run and suffer and bit but it's a very nice kind of hard work, especially when you are making so many people happy.

"We need to do what we can to make a lot of people proud of the players we have at this club."

Brighton will be favourites to go through to Wembley, having finished fourth on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run while Palace staggered over the line with their first win in 10 against relegated Peterborough last weekend.

But despite the relative enormity of the occasion, Poyet has told his players to keep things as normal as possible.

"We want to do the same as we for every other game," he added. "We don't want the players to change anything in their life and we don't want them to do anything differently.

"I've said to a few players with little kids that if their child is normally awake at 2am in the morning and they normally get up, get up again at the same time. Nothing should change because of this game. Of course, there are a few more consequences this time but we must try to do exactly the same. We will not change at all."