Paddy Power News (PPN): You’ve been playing consistently well and that’s been a theme across the year for you. Is silverware the next thing on the agenda?
Rob Cross (RC): Yes. I’ve not picked up a title and it’s been tough in that way. But at the same time, it’s the most consistent I’ve ever been on a dartboard. I’m averaging big, I’m playing well, I’m hitting doubles well. I’ve played well and given myself opportunities to win things.
I haven’t quite gotten over the line yet, but we’ll look to change that this week.
PPN: Obviously, you want to be world champion again, but been a help this year not being world champion though, having that tag on you every week where everyone sees you as a massive scalp every time they play you?
RC: Yes, I have a lot less pressure on me now that I don’t carry that tag around. I struggled at times with it but now I’ve sort of got used to it and you sort of adjust. I look back now and think I handled it all right at times, but obviously I want that World title back. I want to be World No. 1.
So if it comes around again, I’ll be better prepared for it. I’m more mature now and I’ve settled down. I’ve had to learn fast at my job because I’ve only been doing this two and a half years, but this year’s definitely going in the right direction again.
PPN: How did you feel about your Premier League campaign, Rob? You were just short of taking the whole thing, you played really well throughout. It must have filled you with a bit of confidence heading into the year.
RC: I’ve come out most weeks averaging more than 100 and I’ve been playing all right. I think that was important for me, because last year, by the time I got to the end of the Premier League I was shattered.
My game dipped after Australia last year – I hit a brick wall. But to avoid that this year – I’ve taken some time off. So I feel fresh – like I started yesterday. Next year when it comes around again – I’ll play a bit more – I’ll play some more floor tournaments.
PPN: What would it mean to you to win the Matchplay this week? It’s a very historic tournament and Phil Taylor’s name is all over it.
RC: It was Phil’s stomping ground, he won it 16 or 17 times. But for me to win it, Blackpool is unique, it’s a lovely place. If you can’t get ‘up’ for it there’s something wrong. I feel blessed for playing in it, but to win it would be massive for me.
I’ve never made it past the second round so hopefully we’ll rectify that this year and go on and win it.
To hold the World Matchplay title would be incredible.
PPN:The Champions League in October – do you fancy your chances of claiming it this year?
RC: It’s a fantastic tournament. I really enjoy the round-robin format and knock-out phase. So long as all goes to plan, I’d give myself a massive chance for all the tournaments for the rest of the year.