IN REACHING the semi-finals of the UK Championship, Shaun Murphy survived two major scares.
The first was a dressing down from his coach, which ultimately helped him avoid the second – defeat to 17-year-old Belgian wonder kid Luca Brecel.
Former world champion Murphy was taken all the way by the world no.74 at York’s Barbican, before Brecel missed a crucial pink in the deciding frame.
Having trailed 5-4 Murphy admits he was relieved to win the final two frames and set up a last-four meeting with Ali Carter.
“I thought I had lost the match a couple of times, I really did think I was out,” he said.
“It was a thing of nightmares and Luca played so well but maybe a little bit of adrenalin and inexperience cost him at that final stage.
“I’m just relieved, I was expected to win and if I’d lost it would have been a massive shock.
“I was all over the place at the start but I regrouped at the interval after my coach gave me the old Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment and I managed to come back.”