It’s been a steady, if unspectacular start this year for Peter Wright in the 2019 version of the Premier League.
Wright opening his campaign with a 6-6 draw against 2018 World Darts champion Rob Cross in Newcastle and came from 5-2 at home last week in Scotland to claim another stalemate with this year’s World Championship finalist Michael Smith in Glasgow.
Those draws have Snakebite just outside the semi-final spots in fifth place on leg difference and he told Paddy Power News in an exclusive interview today that he’s pleased with how his Premier League campaign has begun.
“It’s good that I haven’t lost those games, but I was never in the position to lose them anyway,” said Wright.
“I was in pole position to win them actually, but both Rob Cross and Michael Smith played extremely brilliant last legs to grab a draw for themselves. I’m quite happy, I’ve got two good players out the way and I’ve got the rest of the guys to go.
The 2017 UK Open winner is also looking to locking horns again with world champion Michael van Gerwen in this year’s Premier League.
“I had a good record against MVG last year, so I hope I can do exactly the same this time around,” said the Scot.
After getting the benefits of being a home crowd favourite in Glasgow last time out, Wright will be flipped into the role of villain this week as he meets home invitee Steve Lennon in the 3Arena.
Lennon had an impressive showing at the World Championships, making it to the second round and was very unlucky to lose out to Alan Norris there.
Wright knows how much of a factor the Dublin crowd will be in his game tonight and while he loves playing at the venue, he’s ready for the reception he’s going to get from the Irish fans. It’s one he wishes he could have avoided if he had the chance.
“I’d have rather someone else played Steve tonight instead of me, that’s for sure,” Snakebite said cheerily.
“Dublin is an amazing venue for us to play in, the crowd can be ruthless and the noise goes straight through you with the way the arena is built.
It can be a scary place too, but luckily, I’ve experienced it before.
“I’ve got to do my job though and I’ve got to pretend I’m playing Michael (van Gerwan) or one of the other guys I’ve got to play every week.
Despite having undoubted respect for his opponent, the world number three knows he has to try and capitalise on any nerves Lennon might have on the big stage. That’s why he’s aiming for a fast start tonight.
However, Wright is pragmatic enough to know how big the opportunity to play in the Premier League is to Lennon as well.
“Steve has been picked for this for a reason though because Barry Hearn and Matt Porter (PDC Chief Executive) believe he’s good enough for the future of the sport,” said Wright.
He’s been playing some really good darts on telly – when he’s been on it – so he’s going to be a tough customer.
“I’d like to get on top of Steve as soon as possible though, but I reckon he’s clever to take this as a chance of a lifetime. He’ll want to show the world that he can perform in front of the TV cameras and that he wants to play in the Premier League in the future.
“He won’t be mucking about either, he’ll be concentrating like.