Raymond van Barneveld says hitting the gym has helped him regain his belief
"I went back to the gym, worked hard on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and I feel a bit of confidence back, my stamina is coming back and it's all about belief"
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 08/03/18 11:39pm
Raymond van Barneveld says returning to the gym has helped him regain his confidence, after he produced a brilliant comeback to stun Gerwyn Price on Night Six in Leeds.
The five-time world champion reeled off four straight legs as he fought back from 5-3 behind to stun 'The Iceman' in a crucial clash at the First Direct Arena.
The Welshman could have climbed above Barney with victory, but the legendary Dutchman produced some vintage darts in the latter stages to deny Price a first Premier League victory.
Barney completed the comeback by converting finishes of 121, 80, 101 and an 89 finish on the bullseye to wrap up his second win of the Premier League season.
Van Barneveld had suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats to Simon Whitlock and Rob Cross in his last two outings, before suffering a disappointing third-round exit at the UK Open against Mervyn King last week.
The Dutchman appeared in discomfort throughout the match and fans were left concerned, which prompted him to release a statement confirming that his ongoing battle with diabetes was the catalyst behind his struggles.
However, Van Barneveld revealed that he is starting to regain his confidence after returning to the gym earlier this week.
I'm going to work even harder now. Go back to the gym every single day now when I can, and practice what I can do to be there, and maybe make the semi-finals of the Premier League, because I think my fans deserve that.
Raymond van Barneveld
"One or two legs were a bit dodgy. Gerwyn wasn't playing so well and then he found his rhythm and he was 5-3 up and I was thinking come on Ray, battle, fight, fight, fight," Van Barneveld told Sky Sports.
"The last couple of weeks are not that great for me. I went on Monday back to the gym, worked hard on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and I feel a bit of confidence back, my stamina is coming back and it's all about belief.
"Fair play to Gerwyn though, he's an amazing player and last week I spoke to him during an exhibition and he said to me: 'Ray, this is tough, the Premier League, exhibitions, travelling, UK Opens, Pro Tours, Euro Tours. It's tough'.
"It takes its toll. I'm here for eleven or twelve years now but for me I'm 50. I'm not that young again. For me it's so important to get a win every single week. Next week Gary, then Peter Wright, then Michael [Van Gerwen], then Michael Smith. Tough schedule," he quipped.
It was announced earlier this week that Rotterdam will host a Premier League double-header next month due to the cancellation in Exeter, and Van Barneveld admitted that the prospect of performing twice on home soil is sufficient incentive to recapture his form.
"This was a really important game, because for me it is so important to qualify for those nights and on five points now, we still have to go four more weeks.
"I'm going to work even harder now. Go back to the gym every single day now when I can, and practice what I can do to be there, and maybe make the semi-finals of the Premier League, because I think my fans deserve that," he added.
The 2018 Premier League heads to the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham next Thursday with coverage underway from 7pm on Sky Sports Action & Sky Sports Main Event. Nine weeks of tungsten action will then continue through to the season's conclusion with the Play-Offs on May 17 at The O2 in London.
Night Six - March 15 at the Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
|Michael Smith||v||Peter Wright|
|Simon Whitlock||v||Daryl Gurney|
|Mensur Suljovic||v||Rob Cross|
|Gerwyn Price||v||Michael van Gerwen|
|Raymond van Barneveld||v||Gary Anderson|
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