21 May 2008 15:50:00
The Shotgun looks back on last season and ahead to the 2008/09 campaign.
How would you sum up last season?
Average really. I don't feel as if it went particularly well. On the plus side, I won most of my first round games, but then I didn't push on and get a long way in tournaments. There were quite a few games at venues where I didn't play well.
Do you feel comfortable playing at venues, having got a lot of experience under your belt the previous season when you reached two ranking finals?
Yes, I feel completely comfortable and I think I showed that at the Crucible. I'm just looking forward to next season now.
What was the highlight of your season?
Beating John Higgins 9-3 on my way to the quarter-finals of the Maplin UK Championship. That gave me the belief that I can beat any of the top players.
And the low point?
Probably the Royal London Watches Grand Prix. I got to the final the previous year but this time I didn't even get out of the group stage, which was a big disappointment.
What about your Crucible debut, you had a great match against Peter Ebdon but ended up losing 10-9.
I was very pleased with the way I played and I think everyone was impressed. I was a bit gutted to lose, especially because the draw opened up a bit after that. And as it turned out, if I had won I would have been in the top 16.
You looked favourite in the deciding frame until you went into a cluster of reds and didn't split them. Any regrets about that shot?
It probably was the wrong shot, but under those circumstances, you can make mistakes. I didn't beat myself up about it too much.
What are your targets for next season?
To win a tournament and get into the top 16. Obviously it would have been nice to be in the 16 this season, but I'm looking at it positively. If you win your first round games, you've got more points in the bag going into the last 32.
You are a very attacking player, have you got any plans to adjust your style?
No, I think I showed at the Crucible that I can play well on the big occasions, so I'll keep my game the same.
What are your plans for the summer?
Just to practise and build towards next season. I've just started playing a bit of golf and I follow a lot of other sports. But playing snooker is what I enjoy the most!