Joe Cullen - 'Gary Anderson defeat put me on the map'

Cullen reacts during his gripping Quarter-Final with Anderson (credit:Chris Dean/PDC)

Joe Cullen believes his epic clash with Gary Anderson at the World Matchplay has stood him in good stead as he aims to push towards a place in the Premier League and World Series.

Cullen's landmark run to the Quarter-Finals in Blackpool, where he was beaten 19-17 by Anderson in an epic, saw him break into the world's top 16 for the first time and end a two-year wait for a major televised Quarter-Final.

The Bradford ace has since reached a Semi-Final on the European Tour and qualified for the Unibet European Championship as the number five seed.

Cullen admits he was "devastated" not to clinch victory over Anderson but feels his performances at the Winter Gardens have put him firmly on the radar.

"Looking back on it, it was a great match," Cullen told Live Darts. "At the time I was absolutely devastated but I've got over it now and it's put me in good stead.

"It's put me on the map, everyone knows I can do it on the stage for that amount of time so it can only be a good thing.

"The rankings aren't a big thing for me.

"If you perform well on the TV, the rankings speak for themselves.

"It's more about getting consistent on TV and pushing for things next year."

Cullen is one of the clutch of players being touted for a potential Premier League place in 2019 but insists he will not let the speculation overshadow his performances in the upcoming majors.

He added: "Everyone's aim is to push on for the Premier League.

"I think last year, before it came up to the last three TV events, I think I was probably in and that got to me.

"I was awful the last three events and it cost me. This year I'm going to try not to dwell on that.

"It's difficult for every player, but there's players playing for their places, without naming names.

"I reckon there's three, maybe two, spots to play for, hopefully I'm one of them.

"Obviously everyone wants to play on the World Series but it's not ranked so it's not top the agenda but obviously I do want to get in the World Series and push for the Premier League, same as every other darts player."

Cullen has been drawn to face Jelle Klaasen in the opening round of the Unibet European Championship on Thursday and is out to improve on a torrid head-to-head record which has seen him win just one of their ten previous meetings.

"I genuinely don't think there's an easy draw," offered 'The Rockstar'.

"Maybe in front of the camera you'd say there's not an easy draw but there genuinely isn't.

"I'm good friends with Jelle and it should be a tough game.

"I've not got the best record against him but it's the best time to put it right.

"Obviously you prefer to play someone who plays at a similar pace than some sort of slow player but if my darts are good enough on the day, which I'm sure they will be, hopefully I'll get over the line."

"My floor form's been awful this year so I was lucky to get to the Players Championship Finals and as for the Grand Slam, I've never actually competed in it.

"The amount that players moan nowadays, the thing is, we're in a good living, we could be working at Supermarkets or things like that. We're earning a massive living for doing something that we really love so what's the point in moaning?"



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Joe Cullen - 'Gary Anderson defeat put me on the map'

Joe Cullen believes his epic clash with Gary Anderson at the World Matchplay has stood him in good stead as he aims to push towards a place in the Premier League and World Series.

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