Gilbert looks to salvage something from 'disastrous season'

Tamworth’s world number 43 David Gilbert has just two tournaments left this season  in which to gain the points needed to keep him in the top 48 for a third successive year. Carry on reading to view his thoughts…

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On his Welsh Open qualifier with Mark Williams:

“Mark is a big name and a great player but I have to treat it as just another game and play the balls not the player.

“My world ranking has plummeted (from 43 to 50 on the provisional list) so I need to win a couple in Wales and do well in the Worlds.

“Last week was the first match I have won in months and I’ve been playing shocking.

“In that game I would have taken anything – I just needed a win and it wasn’t pretty by any means.

“I’ve been playing all right in practice so whether it’s a confidence or mental thing I just don’t know.

“It will be nice to get out of (qualifying venue) Pontins and play at a proper venue – and I’m pretty sure it will be televised on BBC Wales too.”

On his the World Championship:

“I always look forward to the World Championships and I will be pleased if I can get back to the Crucible.

“It would be a nice way to end what has been a disastrous season.”

Currently down in 51st on the latest two year list, if Gilbert is to remain in the top 48 then he is going to have to win at least one and in all likelihood, probably two or three matches in the last two events of the season.

Looking at his draws it is not as if he has an easy run either, with double world champion Mark Williams awaiting in Newport, with a potentially tough tie against Martin Gould in prospect at the EISS. Even if he manages to pass this test, standing between him and a return to the Crucible is another Welshman in the form of Matthew Stevens who is something of a specialist over the longer matches. On the plus side David did beat him 5-2 earlier on this season in the Grand Prix qualifiers so he knows that he can win against him.

As you can see though, it is going to be a tough time for a quality player who has not quite kicked on as he would have hoped a few years ago. Hopefully he can turn a corner and find his confidence again because he is a nice guy and surely has the talent to be doing better than he is at the moment…