Dave Gilbert speaks

Tamworth world number 43 Dave Gilbert has been chatting to www.thisistamworth.co.uk about his Grand Prix defeat to Stephen Hendry and how he needs to make a mark on the game sooner rather than later…

Dave’s quotes in full:

“I can’t get that missed black out of my head and it’s another match I’ve chucked away and managed to snatch the jaws of defeat from victory – it’s supposed to be the other way around!

“But I did start to feel as if I should be there and if I could have just won that match, it would have given me even more confidence.

“I played some of the best shots you could have seen but also some of the worst shots.

“You can’t give anybody a 2-0 lead in a best-of-nine game, let alone someone who has done what he has in the game.

“That’s not to say he played that great, he was there for the taking but at least I dug deep after such a bad start and made a game of it.

“I feel like I’m close to doing something big but I’m not getting any younger so it needs to happen now.

“Maybe I’m trying to push myself too hard but I just need to keep putting in the practice and sharpen up in a few areas – my safety play is non-existent.

“Once I got going and in the balls I was fine, I was just disappointed I didn’t get the job done in the end.

“People say ‘did you bottle it?’ but I didn’t, I just took my eye off one shot and had a rush of blood – I should have just walked around the table and taken a look.”

“My aim at the start of the season was to make every venue but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

“There are so many great players plus the up-and-coming ones as well and a lot of Chinese lads who practice 20 hours a day and love it.

“Ten years ago when I was 17 or 18 it was different and I missed out a couple of times on making the step up from the Challenge Tour to the Main Tour.

“The top 20 made it and one year Shaun Murphy was 19th, Mark Selby was 20th and I was 21st.

“I had to wait another five years to get on the tour and that held me back. I was probably a better player then than now – I didn’t miss much.”

It is refreshing to hear a player talk that honestly about his game and it makes you realise the fine margins between success and failure in the game of snooker. I remember when he was a youngster, playing an exhibition at the Crucible with another young player against Steve Davis and John Parrott. He was so impressive, I know it was an exhibition match but some of the balls he potted, in front of some of his idols and a large crowd, were fantastic and I thought then that he had a big future ahead of him.

It hasn’t quite worked out that way though, not yet anyway and it is interesting to see him say that he feels that he used to be a better player. Hopefully he can go on a good run at some stage in the next few years because he is a nice guy and a fine potter. He does though describe his safety play as non-existent and it is fair to say that this cost him at times against Hendry…