Michael van Gerwen can 'hate' fellow players while losing on oche
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 29/01/16 9:39am
World No 1 Michael van Gerwen admits his friendship with fellow players can turn to 'hate' when they step onto the oche.
The Dutchman will line up against nine of the sport's best players in this year's Premier League, starting on Thursday February 4 in Leeds, live on Sky Sports.
Van Gerwen produced an emotional interview after his third round defeat to Raymond van Barneveld at the recent World Darts Championship.
On the dart board I don't like anyone, because I need to beat them and if they play well, I even hate them.
Michael van Gerwen
And 'The Green Machine' insists his inner feelings range from one extreme to another once a match begins.
Van Gerwen told Sky Sports: "Off the dart board we speak to each other, we have some fun, but on the dart board I don't like anyone, because I need to beat them and if they play well, I even hate them."
Reflecting on his painful loss to Van Barneveld, the 26-year-old said: "It's part of the game, you can't win all of the time.
"Raymond had one of his best games. Probably his best game in the tournament and in this year. What can you do if someone throws that well?
"It's not that I played that bad, it's just that I missed a little extra gear that I didn't have."
Gary Anderson successfully defended his world title with a win over Adrian Lewis and will be trying to retain his Premier League crown this year.
But the Scot is aware of the gruelling season ahead and will face a fiercely competitive field, which includes six-time winner Phil Taylor and debutant Michael Smith.
"Phil will be out to win it, so will Michael, so will myself and so will the rest of them," said Anderson. "We're in it to win it. At the end of the 16 weeks, that [the winner] is the boy that has played the best of the 16 weeks.
"It's a hard journey. Michael Smith's first time. I can't wait to see him when he stands in front of the crowd in Leeds, because it's one of the biggest ones to start off with.
"We have a good laugh, good banter and it will be a good one I think."