Phil Taylor gives Approved Garages an exclusive interview prior to the darts night in Rotterdam.
The climax of the Rotterdam event will of course be the ending, when we will witness the two rivals, Phil and Michael, who are currently on a level 24 league points take the stage, in front of a 10,000 sell-out crowd, to try and come out top. The pressure is on, as the incentive will be the new £25k bonus prize money for the player who finishes top of the table.
We’ve caught up with Taylor to look back on some of his highlights and lowlights of Premier League 2016:
What have you learnt about yourself in the time since the beginning of the Premier League this year?
That I’m very happy playing darts at the moment. I feel relaxed, confident and think I have the perfect set of darts. I want to win this!
How do the players get on off-stage? Is there any bickering?
Off the stage everybody is great with each other but once we get up there all we want to do is win.
What do you predict will happen in the remaining Premier League?
Hopefully me lifting the trophy at the O2!
Who has surprised you with their performance this Premier league?
I’ve been playing a long time, nothing much surprises me anymore. The standard of darts is so high now and you almost always have to be at your best to win.
If you could have a re-match for one of the games you’ve played so far, which one would you pick and why?
I’ve only lost one game so far and that was against Barney on the opening night of the Premier League in Leeds. I’d love to go back to that one and change the result so that I had an unbeaten record.
You gained 4 points in Sheffield – how did that feel? What did you do to prepare for this night?
The most important thing to me is getting the points on the board. Good performances are one thing but getting to the O2 was my first goal and now I’ve achieved that I’m ready to go out and try and top the league and then go on to win it.
Robert Thornton is at the bottom of the league table at the moment – how do you think his performance has come on during the premier league this year?
Robert is a quality player we all know that. The Premier League is so demanding and a missed dart here or there can cost you.
How do you feel about Chisnall and Smith being evicted?
Chizzy made the play-offs last year and can beat anyone on his day but as I’ve said the quality of everyone involved is so high now and you can’t afford to miss anything. Michael is a top young player and he will have his time again, he should learn from this experience and come back stronger next time.
Who is the most emotional player from all the remaining players?
That’s a tricky one. We’re all emotional in our own ways. We all believe we can win and it is upsetting when we get beaten.
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