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Voltage plugged in for O2 glory

ROB CROSS has vowed to find the big stage “magic” that helped him win the World Championship.

The Hastings star takes on James Wade in tonight’s Unibet Premier League semi-final at the O2 in London.

Cross has produced a very solid league campaign so far, just missing out on top spot on the final day of the season with a defeat to Wade.

But Voltage will not let that affect his preparation to face the former champion. He said: “You can’t read anything into any game prior to the O2.

“Form goes out of the window, it’s all about who turns up on the night with their A game. All four of us know, that if we can do that, we can win the Premier League.

“That’s why I wasn’t overly disappointed to miss out on top of the league. That would have probably fired-up Michael van Gerwen even more to win on Thursday night.

“When it comes down to it, only one name goes on the trophy and that’s who wins at the O2, not who finishes top of the league.

“I’d rather win on Thursday than win the league. But now I’ve got to go and do that and produce two great performances. If I don’t I’ll lose, simple as that.

“There’s no hiding place in the Premier League. It’s cut-throat and brutal. You either play well or you get hammered.

“Every player is capable of winning it from the outset. But the hunger is even stronger having worked so hard for 16 weeks to get into the top four. Now you have to make it worthwhile.

“I need to find the magic dust formula that helped me beat Michael in the World Championship semi-final 18 months ago. It’s still all there inside me I know it is.”

Cross also admits he feels like a new man after carrying the burden of being World Champion and is much happier in himself than he was going to finals night a year ago.

He added: “The O2 was tough 12 months ago. I felt like the whole world was on my shoulders as the reigning World Champion.

“I didn’t perform at all and Michael beat me fair and square. He still is the man to beat, he is the yardstick for all the players.

“I’ve not played that well against him for a while now. But people can read into that what they want. I hadn’t beaten him before the World Championship semi-final either.

“It just comes down to the night. If the right Rob Cross turns up, it could be another great occasion for me.”

Words: Phil Lanning

Images: Taylor Lanning

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