MICHAEL van Gerwen admitted it was “horrible and not good enough” after crashing out of the Unibet Premier League.
The World No.1 was a shadow of his normal self losing 8-3 to Daryl Gurney on Saturday night and failed to reach the play-offs for the first time during his PL tenure.
The five-times league winner had topped the league in each of his previous seven seasons in the competition, but defeat to Gurney meant he finished a unique 2020 season in a shock sixth place.
He told RTL7:
“It was horrible. It wasn’t good enough.
“I know I could’ve done better, as does everybody at home.
“Before the match when I was practicing I spent too much time thinking about what I needed to qualify. I knew I needed to win 8-3 to go through.
“I never felt focused. Once I went 3-0 down I knew it wasn’t going to be my night.
“It really hurts but I have no time to re-evaluate as we’ve got more tournaments next week.”
Glen Durrant became only the third player ever to top the league after the qualifying nights followed by Peter Wright, Nathan Aspinall and Gary Anderson.
World Champion Wright believes that MVG will fight back and to never “write him off”.
He said: “It’s obviously been a tough time for Michael in this new way of doing the Premier League. We’re obviously not used to it day after day.
“It’s very difficult, you haven’t got time to set yourself as a player for the following week like we normally do. Maybe he’s found it tougher than the rest of us. Which is strange because I I thought he would have thrived on it.
“He’s a proper professional, he’s the World No.1 and he’ll go back to drawing board and work himself back, never write him off.
“I want to be World No.1 but I want to be younger, that would have been nice.
“I would have been happy with fourth place but getting second that’s really good. At least I can prepare myself for finals night now.”
Pictures by Taylor Lanning