Michael Smith is a player who many have tipped for a long time to make a breakthrough when it comes to winning major titles but still it eludes his mantelpiece at home.

Reflecting ahead of the restart, the hunger for Smith is there more than ever to claim one while he has had the time to think at home during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve had more time at home to look at the runners-up trophies which are set up around the house, so I’ve not really liked it. I need that big one now,” Smith told Sky Sports.

“In the Matchplay final and the World Championship final – I knew I was playing the better darts going into those games,” he added.

“I knew all I had to do was keep going and I would win. It just didn’t happen and you try too hard and you’re trying to find the form from yesterday or the previous round.

“Once it looks like you’re losing, you start thinking get some legs and don’t embarrass yourself and I managed to get myself into the game and then I went back to trying too hard again rather than just trying to get some legs on the board.”

Online abuse during PDC Home Tour and returning to action

Smith played his part in the PDC Home Tour and despite the brilliant action in both the PDC ran event and the MODUS Icons of Darts League, the latter has pointed out a vile side to the sport in online abuse.

Fallon Sherrock and David Evans have both experienced it as of late, as have the likes of Scott Mitchell and Paul Nicholson. For ‘Bully Boy’, he detailed his own experience with it during the online action.

“It didn’t bother me at first but after so many, it does start getting to you. I was getting messages saying ‘go and kill yourself,” Smith continued.

“You can say it is part of the game but you don’t want it to be. It’s the same in any sport, you get these numpties and you have to learn to deal with it I guess.”

Also for Smith, this time has meant weight loss and he is priming himself ready for a busy period when the Summer Series takes place meaning long days in Milton Keynes.

“I’d say I have probably lost two stone. I hope it is not wasted! I’ve just been able to eat right at the right times and I’ve been going on 10km-15km walks with the wife and kids.

“The schedule is always busy as it is, but I think in three weeks it is going to be crazy. We have probably got 10 to 15 Pro Tours to catch up, plus the European Tour, plus the Premier League nights.

“It is going to be tough, but it is going to be enjoyable at the same time, because you have just got to remember what we have been doing over these last three or four months.”

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Author: Samuel Gill