Gerwyn Price put in a sound performance to make the Unibet quarter-finals - thanks to ear plugs!
The Iceman finished with a real flourish taking five of the last six legs to dump Daryl Gurney 10-7 in Milton Keynes on Saturday night.
But the Welsh wonder admitted that earache had hampered his preparations for the clash. He said: “Until the first break me and Daryl were playing rubbish. After that I seemed to find my feet a bit. I’ve been struggling with an ear infection or perforated ear drum or whatever but I put an ear plug in and it seemed to help me a bit.
“I can play a lot better than that, my checking out was pretty good, hopefully I’ll improve for Sunday.
“In practice I’ve been going in the treble one and then treble five trying to compensate for going in the treble one. But I went shopping today and spent £3 on a pair of ear plugs. It hurt me a couple of quid but it seemed to sort it.
“I never really get nervous before games but knowing it’s my first game next week in the Premier League, I was a bit edgy today. I wanted to play well to push myself forward for that.
“I’m just looking forward to the rest of the year I think I’m going to do pretty well in the Premier League, I’m not in it to make the numbers up, I want to make the top four and make the final in the O2.
“The main thing is building on your confidence, that’s key in this game. I think 90 per cent of dart players can throw a dart but it’s just what goes on in the top two inches and if you can conquer that, you can conquer the world.”
Gary Anderson has vowed not to buckle against Gerwyn Price after playing through the pain barrier again.
The Flying Scotsman smashed Benito van de Pas 10-4 in the Unibet Masters last night as his back troubles continued to flare-up.
But Ando is still fired-up to face his big rival Gerwyn Price in today's quarter-final.
He revealed: “It hurt tonight, I thought Benito was going to smash me all over the place. The last three or four months has been bad.
“I had to scrape against Benito. For some reason he always plays a good game but always seems to struggle against me. I don’t know why that is, I might be in his head from when he was younger.
“I just want to play. You get so annoyed when you don’t hit things you know you should be hitting. It gets to you.
“Next game we’ll wait for someone to give me a scream against, I tell you what, my back will be alright, don’t worry about my back in the next game.
“I’ve got 10 pence to spend in the shop tomorrow, I might go and spend that and hope I bang into the boy who gave me it.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow. Once Mr Price starts giving it licks my back will be alright, trust me. I’m not going to buckle for this, no chance, I’ll give it 190 per cent.”
James Wade showed glimpses of his best to beat Simon Whitlock - and then vowed that Michael van Gerwen should be given more respect.
The Machine produced a workmanlike display to KO the Wizard 10-8 at the Unibet Masters.
The Aldershot hotshot then hit out that MVG’s achievements have been overlooked since Rob Cross grabbed his fairytale World Championship win.
Wade admitted: “Simon rolled over and didn’t play quite as well as he should have done. I made the most of it. I’ve been practising really hard and it’s not the liar James Wade that said he has been practising, I genuinely have the last four weeks.
“But after that performance I’m happy I won and onwards and upwards.
“There’s no lessons learned from last year. Sometimes there’s things more important than what you do for a living and that’s what it was last year.
“This year I’ve got a clear head, excited about playing darts and I’m excited to win.
“I find it a bit detrimental towards Michael van Gerwen’s character, let’s be honest he’s been the best player in the world for the last few years.
“We’ve had a young guy Rob Cross who’s come along, we’ll see what Rob does continuously.
“Michael’s done some very special things. As much as Rob has earnt the crown at the moment, there’s been a lack of respect from everyone regarding what Michael has done.
“I think we all need a bit of a shake up and respect the man who what he has done.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia
Photography courtesy of Lawrence Lustig/PDC