Roy Hodgson insists Crystal Palace will not pile the relegation pressure on bitter rivals Brighton by rolling over against Cardiff.
Palace, who secured their top-flight status with a fine victory at Arsenal last month, will send Cardiff back to the Championship if the Bluebirds fail to win, and Brighton beat Arsenal a day later.
Some Palace supporters have suggested they would rather lose at Cardiff on Saturday evening, in order to thwart Brighton’s Premier League survival hopes.
But Hodgson, 71, said: “Palace fans don’t really believe that. They might say those things, but it is bravado, laddish.
“They will be expecting me to put out the best team that is most capable of winning the game. I know it’s exceptionally irritating for teams who are fighting an important battle at the top of the table, or fighting relegation, to find that suddenly they’ve got a difficult opponent this week, but the team they are fighting against are playing a side that doesn’t care, and is virtually handing the game on a plate.
“If you ask me if that’s wrong and we shouldn’t be doing that, then I would agree one hundred per cent. I don’t think any of us should be disrespectful of the importance of a Premier League fixture.”
Hodgson, meanwhile, says it is unclear whether he will retain the services of Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi next season. The 25-year-old has scored three times in 11 appearances since moving to Palace on a loan deal in January.
Hodgson will sit down with the club’s chairman Steve Parish to discuss their transfer options at the end of the campaign.
“We will have a meeting and until such time I have got no idea what finances and funds will be available,” said Hodgson.
“Batshuayi is a Chelsea player, so as far as I am concerned it will have to be a question as much for Chelsea as us. We can’t just presume that he is available.”
Hodgson will be without Christian Benteke for the trip to south Wales. The forward, who has scored just once this season, did not train this week after injuring his cheekbone in a clash with Everton defender Michael Keane.
Hodgson added: “It’s very unfortunate that having found his feet he picks up this nasty knock. Hopefully next season he can put the injuries behind him, and display some of the football that we’ll be expecting him to show.”