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Darts: 2013 can be year of the dog says Mitchell
SCOTT Mitchell believes 2013 will be the year he finally gets the Lakeside monkey off his back.
The 42-year-old Bransgore thrower goes into his fourth world championships at Frimley Green having failed to breach the first round barrier in three previous attempts.
‘Scotty Dog’, the 12th seed, faces Scotsman Mark Barilli in the opening round tomorrow on the back of reaching the last four of prestigious Dutch tournament the Zuiderduin Masters last month.
That success saw Mitchell rise to world number two in the BDO invitation rankings ahead of the flagship world championships, which start today in Surrey.
Mitchell, who was beaten in the first round by three-times world champion Martin Adams last year, told the Echo: “I feel really positive this time. I felt Martin Adams was a good draw last year but it didn’t turn out that way.
“The bookies have made Mark Barilli favourite, which is fine by me as it takes the pressure off.
“We both have a dismal record at Lakeside, so someone will come out with theirs improved and I hope it will be me.
“We’ve played a couple of times and the one that makes the difference is when we played in qualifying at the World Masters in 2010 and he beat me 3-1 in sets. That’s why they have made him favourite.
“But I had a good Zuiderduin Masters, so there is no reason why I can’t go there and put this ghost to bed.”
Barilli is known for his inconsistent throwing speed, while the Scot often attempts some bizarre checkouts, once aiming for three double tops for a 120 finish in a competitive match.
Mitchell added: “He throws at 100mph and makes Michael van Gerwen look sluggish, but then he will slow right down.
“He changes the pace of the game to suit what he is doing – I don’t even know if he is doing it consciously.
“But I won’t be taking a great deal of notice of that. Hopefully, I will have enough experience to stick to my own pace and I need to focus on myself rather than watching what he is doing.
“Against Martin last year, I paid too much attention to what he was doing and the same thing happened against Jan Dekker the year before.
“You need to play the board and not the opposition.”
Mitchell’s clash with Barilli will be live on the BBC from around 4pm tomorrow.