WORLD champion Phil Taylor has advised Fleetwood’s Wes Newton to relax in order to record his first victory in darts’ McCoy’s Premier League in Aberdeen tonight.
Newton, ranked sixth in the world, has qualified for the sport’s elite competition for the first time but the 35-year-old made a nervous start last week, missing 19 doubles en route to a 7-4 defeat by James Wade in Belfast.
Newton faces Grand Slam of Darts champion Raymond van Barneveld in tonight’s opening match at the AECC and has the benefit of the world no.1’s words of wisdom.
The 16-time world champion Taylor said: “You learn with experience how to deal with the Premier League. Wes was devastated by losing last week but he’s still young and has got a lot to learn.
“It’s his first season and he’s got to take his time to get used to the big stage. It’s a learning curve. and this week will be a different game altogether.”
And the Premier League newcomer admits he has worked hard on his finishing ahead of his clash with the Dutchman
Newton said: “It’s going to be a really tough game because Raymond probably played the best out of everyone last week (beating Gary Anderson). I’ve got to get my head down and hopefully I can play some good darts. I’ve been practising hard on my doubles.
“I gave myself plenty of chances (against Wade), so I know my scoring’s good and I need to tighten up on my doubles. Maybe I was trying too hard to get off to a good start. I wanted to win so much but I’ve got my debut out of the way now and I’ll get used to playing each week.”
The league’s official betting partner Coral offer odds of 5/2 for a Newton victory, with Van Barneveld at 4/6 and the draw 4/1 in the best of 12-leg contest.
Taylor faces Adrian Lewis, who has an enviable Premier League against ‘The Power,’ while Scots Gary Anderson and Robert Thornton can be sure of plenty of support from the sell-out Aberdeen crowd.
Anderson, takes on last year’s runner-up Simon Whitlock tonight, while Andy Hamilton faces 2009 winner Wade and Thornton meets Michael van Gerwen in the final match of the night.
TV coverage on Sky Sports 1 starts at 7pm.