Michael Smith has set out his stall ahead of the PDC World Championship.
Smith is one of the PDC’s leading lights, and a real contender at the Alexandra Palace. But so far he has not passed the quarter-final stage of any World Championship. Despite mixed fortunes over the years, Bully Boy has never lost his confidence. That same confidence is there this year, but with a twist.
“Every year I’ve played at the Worlds, I’ve always believed that I’ll win it. And I go into this one believing I’ll win it as well,” Smith told Live Darts.
“This one’s a bit different. I’m going into it with no pressure whatsoever.
“I’m not expecting myself to do anything, I’m trying to go in and just be me – just play darts.”
A year ago, Smith made it to the second round in London. There he lost in a thriller to Rob Cross, even missing match darts. The 13th seed went home; the 20th seed went on to become world champion. There were fine margins, but Smith doesn’t believe that victory would have switched his and Cross’ fortunes.
“Against Rob – I should’ve won that game. But there’s no saying I wouldn’t have got beaten in the next game against Hendo (John Henderson), Dimitri (van den Bergh) or Michael (van Gerwen),” he said.
Smith has praised the effect his family has had on his upturn in fortunes. With the support of his wife and two young children, as well as his parents, the St Helens ace feels as secure in himself after defeat as after victory.
“A couple of years ago, when I got beat, I’d say I can’t be bothered, I just want to curl up and die,” he admitted.
“But now, I’m looking forward to going home!”
Author: Ed McCosh