John Salako is still jubilant after Crystal Palace’s 1-0 victory over fierce rivals Brighton & Hove Albion at The Amex last Saturday.
Crystal Palace recorded their first win over The Seagulls since April 2018 courtesy of a Jordan Ayew strike meanwhile Ezequiel Schelotto was booked for Brighton whilst he was warming up as a substitute after apparently mocking Wilfred Zaha.
The rivalry between Crystal Palace and Brighton has often been belittled by other fanbases who claim the hatred between the two sides isn’t as fierce as other derbies in football.
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Yet speaking to the Crystal Palace fan show, Eagles legend John Salako claims fans of Palace still deem this game the most important.
“You know all week it builds up, I think everyone talks about it. Everyone in shops, everyone just going to Asda or doing their shopping, It seems like you NEED to get a result. The whole area, everything in the press, it just goes up. The atmosphere is electric.
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“As a player, you know it's another game but you do understand the gravitas of that game. To see the lads celebrate after, it just shows what it means to them."
Reflecting on the game itself, Salako rejoiced over what the victory meant for the club: "I wouldn't say another three points, I was going to say the best three points of the season - get in there! Yeah, I mean for Palace fans it's just the be all and end all. Listen, it's not how you play in those games, it's getting the result, we lost twice last season, drew at Selhurst so to go down to The Amex and take all three points was just absolutely magical.”
Christian Benteke played a huge part in the winner, his pass releasing Jordan Ayew who dispatched calmly. The Belgian’s time at Selhurst Park has not been littered with goals, but Salako backs Benteke to turn it around.
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"It's been horrific as a striker. I know people like Joelinton, Haller and Wesley are having the same problems. You know, there's a lot of pressure on strikers. But the basic requirements for me, I think you've got to go out, you've got to work your socks off. You’ve got to make things happen and you've got to bring your game, whether you score goals or not.
"I think the fans will forgive you as they do with Ayew, but Ayew's got, I think seven goals now, he works hard. I think for Christian, I think he's gone back to the basics, and as I've always said, work hard, give everything, leave everything out on the pitch and the fans will forgive you and he's beginning to give that.”
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