Peter Wright admits tinkerman approach has derailed his Premier League campaign
"I've been changing my darts too much. I've had other things on my mind, not really been concentrating on the darts as much as I should be and that's why I am not getting the results"
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 25/04/19 4:32pm
Peter Wright has forged a reputation for being the tinkerman of world darts, but 'Snakebite' concedes he may be forced to abandon his pursuit of perfection as he bids to salvage his season, writes Josh Gorton.
The Scot has been plagued by inconsistency throughout this year's Premier League and is five points adrift of a play-off place with four weeks of league action remaining.
Wright found himself in the top-four shake-up after five matches, but he is currently on a winless run spanning seven games, having collected just three points in that period.
He is now relying on other results going in his favour and the 2017 Premier League finalist admits he must claim maximum points from his remaining fixtures to remain in top-four contention.
"Yeah I can still make it," Wright told Sky Sports. "My form is still really good. If I can do what I'm doing in practice then I can win all four of my games and qualify.
"Just consistently using the same set-up every week would be nice, but that's not me. I'm going to play with the same set-up I used at the weekend [in Munich].
"I know I lost to Ross Smith but it's only because I missed three darts at a double, brush up on those little mistakes and I fancy myself. The confidence is there, I think I'll still do it."
Wright succumbed to his fifth loss of the campaign against James Wade in Cardiff last week, averaging just 85.48 in an 8-2 defeat, where he used a new set of darts that visibly wobbled upon hitting the board.
Snakebite's constant tinkering has been questioned by many pundits and fans alike and the Scot acknowledges that changing his equipment may have hampered his season.
"I've been changing my darts too much," he said. "I've had other things on my mind, not really been concentrating on the darts as much as I should be and that's why I am not getting the results.
"I've just been looking for that extra little bit. Sometimes I get bored with a set of darts and I hate using them; I come to a stage where I can't stand picking them up and that's why I've got to change."
What comes next? Night 13 - Thursday, April 25 - Arena Birmingham
|Mensur Suljovic||vs||Michael Smith|
|Rob Cross||vs||Gerwyn Price|
|Daryl Gurney||vs||Peter Wright|
|James Wade||vs||Michael van Gerwen|
Discussing his set-up against Wade, Wright added: "They went brilliantly in practice and obviously I thought the best place to try it was on TV, because that's the most pressure you're going to be under.
"They didn't work as they did on the practice board so I was pretty gutted. They were going pretty amazing and I felt really confident but it just didn't work on TV under pressure."
Aside from the Premier League, Wright potentially faces a defining few months with a considerable amount of ranking money to defend.
The 49-year-old scooped 11 PDC titles in a trophy-laden 2017, but the caveat of that success means he is now forced to defend that prize money on the two-year rolling Order of Merit system.
The colourful Scot occupied second spot on the PDC Order of Merit for 18 months but has now slipped to fifth and could potentially find himself outside of the world's top eight within the coming months, with over £100,000 still to defend prior to July's World Matchplay.
"You can't not think about it to be honest," admitted Snakebite.
"I know the form is not far away. Why can't I win these tournaments still and defend the money that's going to come off by the end of the year? I think I can defend it."
The Pro Tour accounts for a sizeable chunk of that prize money, as Wright lifted five European Tour titles in 2017.
Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson are two players renowned for managing their schedule and skipping certain tournaments to remain fresh for major events, but Wright is present at virtually every competition.
Darting statistician Christopher Kempf confirmed that suspicion, because since 2014 Wright has competed in a staggering 275 PDC events - more than any other player on the circuit.
The world No 5 gave a revealing insight into the gruelling schedule that arises from juggling Premier League and Pro Tour commitments, but he insists he is fortunate to be competing against the world's best on such a regular basis.
"I missed one or two Europeans last year," Wright said.
"Last Wednesday I left [for the Premier League], I got back this Tuesday because of the Easter weekend. I flew in on Tuesday from Munich; I had five hours at home and then I was up in Birmingham.
"I fly away to Saarbrucken this weekend and then I land at Norwich on Monday, I get picked up at Norwich Airport and go straight to Barnsley, not even home. Then I've got the Premier League and another European tournament so the following Monday I'll actually get home.
"I'm lucky enough to be in this job playing darts, which I love, and playing against the top players in the world. Being part of the Premier League is the pinnacle of it all.
"I've got targets. I think I'll go and win this European Tour [event] this weekend and then I think I'll win Vegas - the World Series event."
Wright in bullish mood
"Every dart player wants to play in it and I'm lucky enough to do it, so you shouldn't complain about being tired or anything, you're doing something you love."
Snakebite's unwavering enthusiasm for the game is a huge factor in his popularity, but as he approaches a crucial juncture in his season, he is certainly in bullish mood.
"I've got targets. I think I'll go and win this European Tour [event] this weekend and then I think I'll win Vegas - the World Series event," Wright claimed.
"That would get me ready for the World Matchplay and obviously I'd like to pick up the World Cup with Gary [Anderson].
"I think we could win it this year. I feel positive and I think I can win these tournaments, it's just hitting the double at the end of it."
Peter Wright was speaking to Sky Sports' Josh Gorton. The Premier League continues in Birmingham on Thursday, April 25. You can also stay up to date with all the action by following us @SkySportsDarts and get all the latest news, previews and interviews www.skysports.com/darts