Cullen admits his World Matchplay form is “A long time coming”

Cullen gestures prior to making his entrance (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Joe Cullen admits his Quarter-Final run at the World Matchplay is a “long time coming” and is quietly confident he can challenge for glory at the Winter Gardens.

Cullen has embarked on a run to only his second televised Quarter-Final - following on from the 2016 UK Open - after defeating Gerwyn Price and Daryl Gurney for the loss of just six legs so far.

The Bradford ace is situated in a top half of the draw which has witnessed a number of shock results, including the departure of Michael van Gerwen, but he is now faced with a formidable test in the form of multiple World Champion - Gary Anderson.

Cullen admits has breakthrough on one of the sport's major stages has come later than he envisaged but is keen to make up for lost time.

"Of course I'm happy to be in the Quarter-Finals but at the back of my mind I'm sort of disappointed it's taken me this long," said Cullen.

"It's been a long time coming.

"This year's it's roles reversed, I've transferred my floor form to the stage but my floor form has suffered.

"The European Tour has served me well this year and I'm thriving on stage so I'd rather it be that way than the way the roles were reversed last year.

"I'm relieved to get to the Quarter-Finals of such a big competition but it should have happened years ago.

"My preparation wasn't as good as it is now and I was a bit lazy and I'll be the first to admit that but now I'm reaping the rewards."

The 29-year-old is virtually assured of a place in the world's top 16 following the BetVictor World Matchplay for the first time in his career.

Cullen, however, insists he is not overly concerned about ranking positions and remains focused on the immediate task in-hand.

"To be honest, the top 16 doesn't really bother me," he added. "If you keep playing well on TV and grind out performances on the floor and Euro Tour, the rankings come with it.

"I don't set a goal at the beginning of the year to be in the top ten or whatever, if you perform to a consistent level then the rankings come afterwards.

"The confidence is there, I've taken advantage of other people's mistakes or maybe that's me being a bit too negative on myself?

"Two wins at the Matchplay is a good thing for me and there's nothing for me to fear."

Cullen has been competing on the PDC circuit for a decade since bursting onto the scene as a naturally-gifted teenager and reveals he does not fall into the trap of overthinking the game.

He added: "If you're in the groove and focused that much then you don't really know what you're doing.

"I think it's when you actually think about the game that you might come a little bit unstuck.

"I think that's why Chizzy's been so successful because obviously he's not got the most brain cells in the box!

"It's taken me a while to get into the groove but hopefully I'll stay in it."



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Cullen admits his World Matchplay form is “A long time coming”

Joe Cullen admits his Quarter-Final run at the World Matchplay is a “long time coming” and is quietly confident he can challenge for glory at the Winter Gardens.

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