Rob Cross believes he needs to turn into EastEnders villain Phil Mitchell to add “aggression” to his game.
The 2018 World Champion has reached two major finals so far this season – the UK Open and Premier League – but fell agonisingly short of glory in both.
Now, ‘Voltage’ believes he has sussed the secret to future success – adding a bit more aggression to his oche persona.
Cross, who faces debutant Chris Dobey in his Betfred
World Matchplay opener on Saturday, told Live Darts: “I think I’ve been Mr Nice Guy for too long really.
“I don’t feel like I strike fear into anybody when they are on their walk-on.
“I’ve just realised at the weekend that I play better when I’m angry. A couple of times in the Premier League the crowd were giving me stick, especially in Holland.
“Suddenly that woke me up and focused my mind immediately. I had the same in Germany last weekend although the crowd were way over the top.
“Now it’s just about applying that to my game. A year ago someone reckoned I looked like Phil Mitchell from EastEnders, maybe I should add some of his aggression to the way I am on the oche and that will make me win more!”
Cross hit the headlines after blasting the Cologne crowd “disrespectful”
following defeat to Gabriel Clemens in the German Darts Masters last Saturday.
The 28-year-old is now looking to let his darts do the talking as he bids to surpass the Last 16 stage in Blackpool for the first time.
He added: “I definitely have been my old self again at times, my ‘A’ game is on the way back. I need to be more consistent, I know that.
“I know I have a couple more gears to go up and I’m on the verge of that. The aim is to bring my top form to the Matchplay this week.
“My record isn’t the best in Blackpool, I have no idea why it’s not been great. I love the Winter Gardens, the atmosphere is awesome and such a prestigious event.
“Now I need to go there and play out of my skin and win it.”