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Price admits mental block against nemesis Van Gerwen

Jamie Shaw in Darts Interviews 03 Apr 2019
Van Gerwen and Price shake hands (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Gerwyn Price admits Michael van Gerwen is the only player capable of ‘getting into his head’ as he bids to record his first ever win over the rampant Dutchman.
Price has lost all 15 of his previous meetings with MVG since gaining a PDC Tour Card in 2014 and is determined to stop the rot when the pair collude in the Unibet Premier League in Belfast on Thursday.
Van Gerwen ran out a 7-2 winner in the reverse fixture in Nottingham last month – a performance which Price has described as his “worst ever”, and the Welshman is hoping to revive his play-off hopes by upsetting the apple-cart.
“I had a really good start to the Premier League, then obviously playing Michael [Van Gerwen] was going to be tough and I played probably the worst game I’d ever played,” Price told Live Darts.
“I thought I’d try and back it up by beating Rob Cross but that didn’t work and I targeted four points from Rotterdam, but on the first night a couple of things in my head weren’t right, but I put those to bed.
“The first five games I was unbeaten and I think I was probably hard done by in two of those three draws.
“But if you don’t take those points when they’re there then it’s going to come back and bite you later on and it almost did.
“I needed a win to try and get myself back in contention for The O2 so I think I’ve done that and I’m looking forward to the second half of the Premier League.”
Price ended a run of three straight defeats with victory over Peter Wright last Thursday to revive his play-off hopes, though he is now two points adrift of the top four heading into the toughest possible fixture.
The Grand Slam champion admits Van Gerwen has the psychological advantage over him but insists he approaches the game in the same way he would for any other opponent.
“You go up there and just play the same game every time,” added Price. 
“Sometimes when you play different individuals like Michael – he can probably get in my head a little bit, but apart from him, I’m alright!
“I don’t worry about what the bookies say, whether I’m an underdog or favourite, I just go out and play the best I can.
“There’s probably more pressure on me to play in Cardiff than anything and once I knew I wasn’t out, it took a lot of weight off my shoulders.
“My aim at the beginning was to get to Cardiff and I’ve done it, so I can just relax a little bit now and I’m sure I’ll start to play a lot better darts and maybe hit one of those nine-darters.”