GRAHAM POTTER will go into his first showdown with Crystal Palace under no illusions that there is nothing more than just three points at stake.

Potter, who joined Albion in the summer, is busy preparing for Monday night’s trip to Selhurst Park.

And the significance of the game has been drummed into him in recent days as he goes about plotting a repeat of last season’s successes when Chris Hughton’s side recorded a double over the Eagles.

Potter revealed: “I have been reminded of how important it is pretty much every day.

“It’s always good these games, they’re important for our supporters and it’s important because of the proximity of the two teams and the clubs.

“My memory of Selhurst Park is always lively, so Monday night with the Sky cameras there, it will be a good atmosphere, hostile atmosphere, it’s something we are going to have to deal with, and we’ve got to look forward to it.”

He added: “I was at a function last night and everybody’s just speaking about the game and ‘make sure you win’. It’s that type of rhetoric.

“Of course, that feeds into the players but at the same time you learn that you have to understand the game, understand what you need to do, understand it’s football, you can do a lot right and still lose, you can do a lot wrong and still win.

“Our job is to just prepare as well as we can and do our best.”

While Potter will be experiencing the clash for the first time, many of his squad know exactly what to expect and he admits that will permeate into the intensity of their preparations as the clock ticks down .

He said: “There are enough in our group who have played in these games, so they know what it means and how important they are.

“You can tell everyone is looking forward to it. It is a longer wait because it’s a Monday night kick-off but I’m sure it will keep building.”

Dale Stephens will sit out the game with a one-match suspension picked up after collecting a fifth caution before the cut-off point.

It is a blow for Stephens and Seagulls but Potter believes Albion have steered clear of too much disciplinary trouble so far as they head into a game where he has warned cool heads are needed.

Anthony Knockaert, the matchwinner in last season’s 2-1 win who is now at Fulham on a season-long loan, almost never got the chance to produce his wonder strike after a rash early challenge could have seen him shown red instead of yellow.

Potter said: “I think we have done OK, although you can always improve in those areas.

“We have done OK but because of the speed of the game now there are always going to be mistimed challenges.

“The first thing you have to do is to try to limit the unnecessary ones, which we have tried to do. But, again, that is always something which can be improved.

“You have to play and understand the passion of the game and the emotion of the game but at the same time you have to use your brain.

“You have to think clearly and try to make the right decisions.”