Rob Cross is primed and ready for the Premier League Darts 2019.

The then reigning world champion struggled badly in the early stages of the event a year ago. But a superb recovery led Cross to the play-offs on debut. Now more experienced in the ways of the Premier League, the PDC world number two is more prepared for the 2019 edition. Speaking in an interview posted on his Twitter page, Voltage discussed his feelings going into the three-month long roadshow.

“I’m looking forward to the Premier League. Last year, obviously, I didn’t really have a clue about the tournament. At least this year, I know exactly what to expect,” he said.

“I’m nice and relaxed, I’ve had some lovely family time. I’m feeling fresh, so I’m ready.”

Kelly Deckers/PDC

Photo: Kelly Deckers/PDC

Cross opened his Premier League debut with a 7-2 defeat to Michael van Gerwen. A further 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Simon Whitlock, with Cross posting the only sub-90 average of the night in Cardiff, left him bottom of the league. The Hastings ace would only lose three more times in the next 14 games, cruising into the play-offs ahead of Daryl Gurney.

“I didn’t (start well) last year and I still made the finals. But I will want to start brighter than I did last year,” the 28-year-old surmised.

“It was a lot of pressure, last year. You go two weeks without winning, and then everyone gets on your back.

“It was still an achievement to qualify after the poor start I had, but this year I want to be brighter, a little bit more energetic, and do a job.”

The play-offs at London’s O2 Arena did not go well for the debutant. Despite pushing van Gerwen for parts of the match, Cross eventually fell to a 10-6 loss, with the Dutchman going on to win the title. Cross admitted that he didn’t feel anywhere near his best throughout.

“I felt a bit gappy all the way through the Premier League. By the time I got to the end, I was a little bit worn out.

“But at the same time, it wasn’t a complete disaster, because I still managed to make it. I proved to myself that I can qualify – I just need to be better on that night,” he said.

Asked whether or not he could win in 2019, Cross’ responded with aplomb.

“Definitely. Why not? I’ve got that year’s experience, I know what to expect now. Just being relaxed about it, that you know what’s coming instead of keeping guessing, will be a massive difference.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh