James Wade believes quarter-final opponent Wes Newton will bring the best out of him when the duo clash on Saturday at the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship.
By his own admission, Wade has been below par so far in reaching the last eight and the third seed is 10/1 to end his wait for success in the biggest darts tournament of all.
A straight sets win over Vincent van der Voort helped Wade progress beyond the third round on Thursday and into the quarters for the fifth year running, but the man nicknamed The Machine is far from happy with his latest performances at Ally Pally.
Wade said: “I believe that Vincent didn’t play very well and he made it very, very easy for me.
“I won and I’m happy I won. I’m into the next round and that’s the main thing.
“I haven’t played well. I haven’t played well from the off, but I’ve done enough.
“I’m going to have to play well against Wes. I believe all the practice that I’ve put in that it’s going to come out of me at some point. And I think it’ll be him that pulls it out of me.
“If it does come out how I think it’s going to come out, people are going to enjoy it.
“Wes can play darts as good as he wants to play darts – I’m certainly not afraid to play him.
“If I play how I have been, he’s going to beat me so easy. But if I play how I have been in practise and do all the things that I have been doing, as soon as I’m put under the right pressure, I’m going to improve.”
While Wade has been brutally honest about his recent displays at Ladbrokes World Darts Championship, he has issued a word of warning for anyone doubting whether he is a serious title contender.
Wade is 5/1 to beat Newton 5-3 on Saturday.
He added: “I’ve got this cloud over my head that I’m not playing well – and I’m not playing well. And it’s annoying me. But I’m doing the right shots at the right time to hurt people, so I can’t do any more than I’m doing.
“I haven’t come away feeling darts. I haven’t felt my darts, but I’ll feel them.
“If they can feel smooth again, some people are in trouble. It’ll get there.”
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