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Raymond van Barneveld remains defiant after dropping out of world's top 32

"Was hoping for better results but if anyone thinks I am giving up already you better think again"

Lawrence Lustig/PDC
Image: Raymond van Barneveld is hurting after a run of poor results

Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld said he "knew" he was going to drop out of the world's top 32 before suffering an early defeat at last week's UK Open.

The 51-year-old suffered a fourth round exit to Simon Stevenson in Minehead on Friday night and coupled with the progression for Dimitri Van den Bergh, Cristo Reyes and new UK Open champion Nathan Aspinall, the pressure is on Van Barneveld to succeed in Players Championship and European Tour events.

"I knew that was coming," said Van Barneveld on Twitter. "People writing me off already and that's fine.

"This year would be a marathon not a sprint I knew that at the start. Was hoping for better results but if anyone thinks I am giving up already you better think again."

Van Barneveld also sits at the foot of the Premier League table following four weeks, and he added: "And YES it hurts losing every time but I am trying and I am fighting my own battles. One at a time.

"Didn't play a lot of tournaments 2 years ago so getting some results in at pro tours or euro tours will get me back up hopefully but it will be small steps I realise that."

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What comes next? Night Five - Thursday, March 7 at the BHGE Arena, Aberdeen

Michael Smith vs Rob Cross
Daryl Gurney vs James Wade
Mensur Suljovic vs Gerwyn Price
Raymond van Barneveld vs Peter Wright
Michael van Gerwen vs John Henderson

The Premier League heads to the BHGE Arena in Aberdeen on Thursday, March 7. You can also stay up to date with all the action by following us @SkySportsDarts and get all the latest news, previews and interviews

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