Van Barneveld reveals frustration at Premier League struggle

Van Barneveld showcases his trademark celebration (credit:Michael Cooper/PDC)

Raymond van Barneveld has revealed his frustration at his slow start to the season and says he is desperate to avoid elimination in his final Premier League campaign.

Van Barneveld has taken two points from a possible six in the Unibet Premier League so far after battling back to salvage a draw in each of his last two outings.

The legendary five-time World Champion is now the bookmaker's favourite to finish bottom of the table on Judgement Night but insists he will fight hard to avoid the drop in Rotterdam.

"You don't want to be relegated in your last year because there's a lot of pressure," Van Barneveld told Live Darts.

"Next year I think I will really be comfortable watching the darts on Sky every week, no pressure, no stress.

"Last week I played without ear plugs for the first time in one year so the atmosphere was really loud.

"They're all backing me every single week.

"Why do I have to struggle every single week? I don't know.

"I was 6-2 down and got a point against Gerwyn [Price] and 5-1 down to get a point with Mensur [Suljovic].

"It's still a long way to go."

Van Barneveld takes on Michael Smith in Exeter on Thursday in a crucial basement battle as the bottom two in the league table collide.

Smith has vowed to play through the pain barrier after undergoing an emergency operation on an abscess on his groin earlier this week and is bidding for his first win of the season.

Crowd favourite RVB heads to the South West aiming to kick-start his final year as a professional, having qualified for his first European Tour event for almost two years last week before struggling on the ProTour.

He added: "I'm really working hard in my office and playing these guys every week.

"I'm playing exhibitions, ProTours and qualifiers to try and get on the European Tour.

"I'm giving all and everything I've got in myself, hopefully there will be one day when it's going to turn and hopefully it's going to happen soon.

"Every single week Michael [Van Gerwen] is playing his best darts, that's because he's got no reason to worry.

"Every week he's at the highest level and he's qualified for every tournament, which gives you rest.

"To me, it's something else. For the first time in my life, I have to qualify for things, even if I want to make it to the World Championship - which is hard.

"It's almost the same as being here for the first time in my career in the PDC."


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Van Barneveld reveals frustration at Premier League struggle

Raymond van Barneveld has revealed his frustration at his slow start to the season and says he is desperate to avoid elimination in his final Premier League campaign.

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