PDC World Darts Championship: Michael van Gerwen must focus fully
Michael van Gerwen will struggle if he relaxes against Adrian Lewis at Ally Pally, says Rod Harrington.
By Rod Harrington
Last Updated: 30/12/13 12:53pm
Van Gerwen raced into a 4-1 lead in his quarter-final with former Lakeside champion Mark Webster on Sunday evening, before stuttering over the line with a 4-3 victory.
Harrington - runner-up to Phil Taylor in the 1995 World Championship at the Circus Tavern - says the 24-year-old cannot afford to be as lax in Monday night's last-four duel with two-time Alexandra Palace titlist Adrian Lewis.
But the Sky Sports pundit expects the Dutchman to raise his game considerably against "Jackpot" as the duo battle it out for a match with either Peter Wright or Simon Whitlock on New Year's Day.
"Van Gerwen took his foot off the pedal against Webster and thought he was going to win easily and while it isn't a bad thing to be confident, sometimes you have to knuckle down," said Harrington.
"Michael is an exceptional player but he is inexperienced at closing games out and if he relaxes against Lewis it isn't going to work.
"However, every game Lewis and Van Gerwen have had this year has been absolutely brilliant.
"The pace of the game is great for both players and they will feed off each other - when one starts hitting 140s and 180s the other will follow - so I expect an unbelievable game."
Harrington thinks Lewis was far from his best as he overcame fellow Englishman James Wade 5-1, but praised the Stoke man's composure.
Wayne Mardle, meanwhile, reckons "Jackpot" - who has also knocked out Dennis Smith, Vincent van der Voort and Mervyn King at Ally Pally - is building up a head of steam.
"It was mediocre by Lewis' standard and Wade gifted him a lot of legs by missing too many doubles, but Lewis out-powered James on the 140s and did a business-like job," said Harrington.
Mardle added: "In legs you can go on little blitzes, win three or four on the trot and get a real good lead, but here if you win three on the trot it's only a set - and this appears to be Lewis' tournament, even though no-one is showing the form game in, game out."