By Phil Lanning
GERWYN Price is ready to end his Betfred World Matchplay jinx thanks to advice from ex-England boss Sven Goran Eriksson.
The World Champ continues his bid for his first-ever win at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool against defending champion Dimitri Van den Bergh on Thursday night.
Price, 36, has suffered four first round exits at the Matchplay but after listening to Eriksson he will change his approach to win the £150,000 top prize.
He revealed: “I’ve approached the tournament wrong the last couple of years. I was watching a programme the other day with Sven Goran Eriksson, the ex-England manager. He just says that he keeps his professional life and his downtime and family life completely different. He never mixes anything.
“Obviously my girls finish school this Friday so they could come up like they do every year with my wife. But I think that’s where I’ve been going wrong. I’ve been doing things with the family and not really concentrating on darts. That’s why I think I’ve been going out first rounds.
“So this year’s a little different, the family isn’t coming. I’m going up there solely for work and work only. I’m going there to give it everything I’ve got.”
Price has once again been the victim of the boo-boys and called for more “respect” after his win over Jonny Clayton.
But after England football players and F1 ace Lewis Hamilton suffered social media abuse, he once again called for a clampdown.
He added: “I’ve played through it before and if it comes again, I’ll try and play through it again.
“It’s pointless going on about social media hate because nothing ever gets done. There’s only one thing they can do and that’s make people put their passport or some sort of ID in before they sign up or register for any social media. Then they can be clamped down and people can be banned and can’t open a new one. Until they do that, there’s not much anyone else can do.”
Price missed the Premier League after a positive Covid-19 test but dismissed any talk that he needs to make a statement at the Matchplay with a victory.
He said: “I just want to go and win. I don’t think I need to prove anything anymore. What else have I got to prove?
“I’m World No.1 and World Champ so they’ve got a tough side of the draw, not me. I’m not worried who I play. I know if I bring my A game, they need to play their A-plus game to beat me.
“If I’m on my A game I don’t think anyone can beat me at the moment.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.