GARY ANDERSON admits that he’s become too “mellow” before his crunch Betfred World Matchplay quarter-final.
The Flying Scotsman has shown glimpses of his A game in workmanlike wins over Justin Pipe and James Wade at the Marshall Arena.
But as he prepares to face a resurgent Wizard of Oz Simon Whitlock tonight (Thurs), the two-time World Champ concedes he has become too laid back.
He admitted: “I’ve not played enough darts, I’m just mellow all the time now. Even my friends wind me up about things and I used to bite before and now I just agree with them.
“These lads have been playing internet darts 24/7, I can’t be doing with that. I want to see somebody in front of me playing.
“Winning has never bothered me to be honest. If you get beat, the boy’s played better than you. If you win, that’s great. You can guarantee by the next day I’ve forgot all about it and it’s onto the next one.
“Same with the Worlds when I won it the first time,
we talked about it all the next day for the papers and telly.
When I got home, I never mentioned it.
“It would be great because it would show the boys I’ve played against I’ve not thrown a dart for four or five months nearly. I’d give them some ribbing to be honest.
“I know the way these lads play, you’ve got to be 100 per cent all the time. It’s up to me if I can force myself back.”
Anderson now has a great chance to regain the Matchplay title he won two years ago with top seeds Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross and Gerwyn Price all crashing out.
But, typical of the Scot, he plays down his chances by saying he’s at times playing “rubbish”.
He added: “There was some good stuff but some absolute tripe as usual. One minute my throw is bang on and then it’s all over the place. I think it’s just a lack of playing. I’ve really not done much over the past four months.
“There’s little signs and then it goes back to absolute rubbish.
“The more that I play the better I’m going to be. Earlier this year I was just starting to get back into it and then all this carry on happens. Then I’m back to where I was last year not playing very much.
“In the Premier League just before lockdown I was just starting to get into it and the anger back. Now four months off and I’m, let’s just say, lazy.
“It’s hard, you hear the noise, you turn round and there’s nobody there. Honestly it’s weird. I think a few boys have said that tonight now.
“You miss the banter and heckling with the crowd when you are playing. It’s still a bit strange.
“I need to find something somewhere very quickly. There’s little signs there, 180s pulled me out the bag tonight.”
The Scot also revealed that his young son Tai is more likely to be the next Andy Murray and not Gary Anderson.
He continued: “Tai’s into his tennis and football now, a cracking little football player but a better tennis player. I’m trying to push him into the tennis. But definitely not darts!
“The tennis coach says he’s six-year-old but well above his age.”
Pictures by Taylor Lanning.