BARNEY HAPPY NOT TO GROAN
RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD reckons he is finding his best form again after he stopped being the Mr Grumpy of the oche.
The Dutchman, 44, has drawn his first two Mccoy’s Premier League matches and is returning to form, although Phil Taylor will test his resolve in their clash on Thursday.
“Barney” was hugely embarrassed by losing to unknown James Richardson in the PDC World Championships last month.
But he insists he is finding his feet because: “I’ve stopped moaning.”
The five-times world champion added: “For so many years I’ve been at the top level and last year I was taking it for granted.
“I was sat on the couch, watching TV, complaining about everything and not working or training.
“After I lost to Richardson I said to myself, ‘Ray, you are not doing this right’. He was awesome and played a fantastic game, but I realised I was too lazy.
“I was happy to get a wildcard for the Premier League and I know I’ve got to work hard. I want to show that people were right to have faith in me. “I said I was going to work hard in practice and in training, and I’m happy with how I’ve started in the Premier League.”
Van Barneveld will inevitably play the role of underdog when he faces “The Power” in Belfast.
But he won their last two meetings when they collided in lager louts’ paradise Benidorm back in October. And Barney said: “With Phil, you know what you have to do.
“You have to win legs in between 12-15 darts, otherwise he will win the match.
“I’ve beaten him twice recently off television and you do get chances against Phil – but it’s about taking them.
“He is phenomenal and I can’t wait to play him.” WEEK THREE (Belfast): Kevin Painter v Simon Whitlock, Andy Hamilton v Adrian Lewis, Gary Anderson v James Wade, Raymond van Barneveld v Phil Taylor.
FOCUS: Van Barneveld