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Article: Belfast Jeers Fires-up Snakebite

Belfast Jeers Fires-up Snakebite

Peter Snakebite Wright has said cheers for the Belfast jeers that may have saved him from Unibet Premier League disaster. Snakebite was on the verge of PL oblivion before snatching the last three legs to draw with Simon Whitlock a week ago. That point saw him sneak out of the relegation zone ahead of his clash this evening (Thurs) with Daryl Gurney on Judgement Night in Liverpool. But Wright, 48, reckons it was the haters who helped him get out of the mire. He said: “The crowd helped me in a big way because they were getting on my back. “A certain few people were winding me up the wrong way. “They were booing and booing me and telling me I was some things. That shot was for them. To shut them up.” Wright’s point was crucial. After three successive 7-1 defeats in the league, he was staring at elimination. However, having edged above Mensur Suljovic in the race to avoid joining Gerwyn Price on the scrapheap, he’s in pole position. Suljovic has to take a point from Michael van Gerwen to have any hope, but Wright says he’ll finish the job on his own against Daryl Gurney having found some form again after his disastrous spell. Wright had another excellent Euro Tour performance in Munich at the weekend, losing the final 8-5 to MVG and joked he “hates” the Dutchman. He said: “I'm a great runner-up. Michael said to me a couple of years ago that I would be number two in the world and he would be number one. He was correct - I hate him! “I always go through a lapse every year. Normally I lose it for a week, even in practice. “But my practice was going brilliant and I was not performing on stage. “This time it was three weeks. I can’t explain it, but I’ve been told off by the team and I’m only going to get better. “The bad patch has totally gone. I know I’m the only man who can push Michael because he told me that, so just wait until I hit form. “Simon gave me some chances last week and I took them. It gave me confidence that I'm still fighting and I've had two good weekends on the European Tour. “I'd been lacking that fighting spirit because nobody runs away with a game against me normally, but I've got that back and no-one's going to beat me easily any more, no matter how good they are. “I've still got a hard game against Daryl, who's been playing some fantastic darts but I've got lots of confidence and I'll be doing everything to prepare myself for him. I'm still in the Premier League and still battling.” Champions League winner Suljovic has picked up just four points so far with three successive defeats - and now faces the daunting task of having to get a result from playing MVG. He said: “It’s an important night for me because I love the Premier League and I don't want to be knocked out this week. “I think that I've played well but my results haven't shown that. Having the opportunity to play in the Premier League has been fantastic and I don't want it to end. “Playing against Michael is always hard but I know what I have to do and I'll be trying my best to win. He's a great player and I always enjoy playing Michael.” Van Gerwen has now won six successive games and sits two points clear of Michael Smith at the top of the table as he returns to the Echo Arena to take on Suljovic. MVG said: “Mensur is in a tough situation but his tournament average is quite good," said the Dutchman. "He has had a bit of bad luck but I can't worry about that - I have to try and beat him this week. [caption id="attachment_31522" align="aligncenter" width="1469"]Michael van Gerwen, Red Dragon Darts, Premier League Darts, PDC, Darts, World Number 1 Michael van Gerwen tops the Premier League tree going into Judgement Night[/caption] “Mensur is a good player and has a lot of respect but I still have to treat this like any other game. “I can't complain about my form - it's good but it's not phenomenal yet. “My scoring power is not really there yet and I want to kick that in soon. I can do better than I have been, but I've been winning and that's been the most important thing.” St Helens star Smith is looking forward to playing in Liverpool on Thursday night, as he faces 2014 champion Raymond van Barneveld in his ‘home’ event. Bully Boy said: “Raymond's been in some good form recently and I'm looking forward to the game. “I'm confident of winning and maybe I've been trying too hard to impress people and maybe I need to relax and enjoy it and then my best form might come out. “I promised myself after the 2016 World Championship, when I was 3-0 up and lost 5-4, that I would never lose to him again on TV. “I played him a couple of weeks later in The Masters and beat him there and then I beat him in the Premier League. This is the first time we've played each other since then on TV and I'm looking forward to it." By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)

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