Three-time world champ Michael van Gerwen is in Dublin for the Premier League Darts on Thursday night, and he sat down for a natter with Paddy Power News ahead of his match against Rob Cross tonight.
And though Rob’s improved his record by winning a couple of their most recent encounters, Mighty Mike said that records don’t bother him in the slightest.
“It doesn’t matter to me. You have to beat someone on the night anyway. Whatever the score was before, or however many times you’ve beaten someone, you still have to win on the night. You can’t afford any misses against the other players who know how the game works and are on top of their game, so you need to be sharp, whoever you’re going to play.”
Cross has topped the averages through two weeks of PL competition, but Michael’s not fazed.
“Rob’s been playing well recently in the Premier League – the same as me!”
“Whoever I’m playing still has to play well on the night against me too. You need to prepare yourself differently for different games, but it’s all about confidence.”
And he says the pressure is on his opponent tonight after he drew against Peter Wright.
“Of course, there’ll be more pressure on him than me because he also needs the points early in the season. People are dropping points already and we have to play each other, but you need to make sure you’re sharp because at the end of the road you’re going to need the points.
“I can’t afford any mistakes tonight because Rob is a phenomenal player, but the pressure is on me all the time.”
“He’s still a world champion though, he needs points if he wants to go further.”
And though Michael didn’t quite hit the same heights against Mensur Suljovic in Glasgow as he had in week one versus Michael Smith, when he averaged just under 105 points per throw, he says that won’t be on his mind in Dublin.
“A win is a win. Stats and how you play doesn’t matter. It’s the same as for a footballer, as long as you’ve got the three points in the pocket, that’s what counts.
“It’s all about winning. You don’t want to make mistakes, especially in the Premier League – it’s a very short format – a game can slip away very quickly. Look at Gerwyn Price last week against Raymond van Barneveld, he should’ve hammered him but Raymond came back because Gerwyn made too many mistakes. You can see how you need to always give 100%.”
“But I feel good about tonight, preparations been good with two good pro weekends and I love it in Dublin.”