By Phil Lanning
PETER WRIGHT has told his rivals to stop listening if they don’t like him mouthing off.
The Livingston ace kicks off a bid for a third major title this year against Rob Cross at the BoyleSports World Grand Prix tonight (Monday) in Leicester.
Wright, 51, was given verbals by his big opponents throughout the Matchplay for constantly saying he was going to win the tournament – and he was proved right.
He said: “It’s up to them if they want to listen, I’m just pre-warning them. If I pre-warn you I’m going to win a tournament, that means you’ve got to practice harder or you’ll lose. Simple.
“I could shut up and say nothing and say I haven’t been practising or I haven’t picked up a dart for a month blah, blah, blah. But I’d be lying.
“I feel really confident in my own ability to beat anybody in the world, I’ve proved that and done it.
“I’ve been saying I fancy this tournament for the last few weeks now. So fingers crossed same thing happens.
“It’s an amazing tournament, it’s a leveller, it doesn’t matter how good you are. The double-starts is about keeping calm, don’t get annoyed. If you don’t get off with the first three, you’re hoping your opponent doesn’t start with a big 160. It’s also a bit of luck you need.
“To beat Rob Cross, you’ve got to be on your game, otherwise you are going home.
“My record isn’t great. I got to the final a couple of years ago because it was about time I did well.
“But I’ve had the feeling the past two or three weeks that I fancy this one. I’ve been working hard and people will be surprised with the darts I’ll be throwing.”
Wright has also vowed to take the World No.1 spot from Gerwyn Price in a fascinating three-way battle for the top dog of darts with Michael van Gerwen.
He added: “I’m looking forward to being World No.1 so winning this tournament will help me catch Gezzy up. I’ve already said I’m going to win the Worlds as well this year, so I should be No.1 in the world at the beginning of next year.
“I think Gezzy is playing fantastic darts at the moment, but how long is that going to last?
“He’s got his injury that keeps coming up. I’ve had a similar sort of thing in my elbow and it’s horrible. You can’t predict when it’s going to come.
“He’s beat Michael again but Michael’s not on his game, but it’s coming back most definitely. But he’s not quite the Michael of old.
“Of course Michael can come back. He’s still young, he’s won all those titles and he’s got the hunger.
“Now he’s not just got Gezzy and I challenging him but you’ve got other players out there like Luke Humphries.
“I don’t think Michael’s game is far off, it’s just a little lack of consistency and missing the odd double when he used to punish you for that.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.