"I've been complacent for the last 12 months" - Nathan Aspinall honest about his recent struggles but pledges to get back to his best

Although Nathan Aspinall currently sits 5th in the PDC Order of Merit, the reigning World Matchplay champion isn't totally happy with where his game is as a defence of his Blackpool crown looms.

"I'm just not happy with my game. I've been tired for the last 6 to 12 months and I've had a lot of stuff going on at home, moving house etc, trying to get my kids into new schools. It's been a long 12 months for me," the 32-year-old Englishman explains in conversation with Online Darts. "But everything is right now. The Premier League is done and I'm looking forward to getting myself back up there where I belong."

Aspinall narrowly missed out on reaching the playoffs in the Premier League Darts campaign, losing in a straight shootout with good friend Michael Smith for the 4th and final spot. In his most recent outing at the Nordic Darts Masters, it was Smith again who ended Aspinall's run in the quarter-finals on Saturday night in Copenhagen.

For Aspinall however, the focus is on improving his level in the tournaments away from the TV cameras. "My Pro Tour ranking is abysmal," he admits. "I need to work hard. I've got to start working hard and there's so many players coming through now. One that springs to mind is Ritchie Edhouse. They're so hungry to get what we've got and as quickly as you get to the top, you can fall down."

"Smithy has seen that happen. As much as I hope it won't because he's a mate, he could drop out of the top-16, Peter Wright is the same and Michael van Gerwen's not even a seed on the European Tour. All these things happen because we get complacent and I've been complacent for the last 12 months, thinking my ability alone could keep me up there," Aspinall admits. "I think I've learned now that if I don't pull my finger out, I won't be in New York next year (for US Darts Masters ed.), I won't be in the Premier League next year and I love all this stuff."

"I've had a big reality check so I'm going to work hard to get back to where I belong," Aspinall concludes. "I'm sick of seeing my fans disappointed that I've played poorly or I've lost. That's not me, I'm a winner so hopefully over the next few weeks I can get back up there."

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PDC Nathan Aspinall

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