“I’m nowhere near my best. But I know if I keep working hard it will come’’

ROSS SMITH wants a bit “more buzz” despite an excellent opening World Grand Prix win.


The Dover thrower dumped Jonny Clayton out with a clinical 2-0 first round win in Leicester.


Now he faces Joe Cullen on Thursday after admitting he lacked energy against the Welshman.


He said: “To be honest the game was a bit of a blur. I didn’t feel comfortable up there, I don’t think Jonny did. It was a bit of a strange game. I’ll take the win all day long.


“The rankings don’t even enter my head. All I’m focused on is who I play in the next round, or whoever is in front of me really. I’m not bothered I just play.


“I next have Joe and he’s brilliant. He’s a Masters champion, lovely guy. I’m going to go up there and just play my game. I’m not bothered about what Joe does. I’ll just concentrate on what I do.


“I don’t think it was a great game. Jonny is a million times better than that.


“I wasn’t nervous, I was just flat. I’ve had that before. To overcome that, I’m really happy.


“Let’s just crack on with the next game and hopefully I’ll have a bit more buzz in me.”

It’s almost a year since Smith’s surprise European Championship win and he admits his expectations have risen sharply.


He added: “Up and down really. It hasn’t been the greatest but it hasn’t been too bad.


“I think I’ve maybe set my standards high but I think you need to. I’ve won a Players Championship and semi-final in a Euro.


“If you’d said that to me last year, I would have probably said I’m having a great year.


This year it feels like it’s not good enough.


“I want to be in the quarters, the semis of the major events. Obviously we are coming into them now. But I’ve got to strive to do better and that’s what I’m trying to do on and off the board. I’m really working hard now.


“I’m nowhere near my best. But I know if I keep working hard it will come.


“I think it’s going to be a long process, it’s not going to be something that happens overnight.


“I’ve had stats come through from Darts Orakel, all my statistics have been higher than the previous 12 months. So I’m going in the right direction.”

In tonight’s action in Leicester, Gary Anderson takes on Andrew Gilding in the first match on.


By Phil Lanning

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