I think it has, because I have played really well. I’ve played really well all year. The only thing that annoyed me last year was that it’s not as if I said it was a really good game. It wasn’t: it was a rubbish game and I didn’t that play well but I didn’t see what I was supposed to do. I didn’t really understand why the game here in streamfodboldlive.dk was written about in the way it was. I thought some of it was vile, really. I had just won the World Championship and I was getting criticised. I didn’t read anyone slaughtering Italy when they won the World Cup and that was a rubbish final.
With the difference between the players paper thin, do you think it was your determination that proved the difference last year?
It could have been. It was just the way the game was running out. Every frame seemed really scrappy. We were both really tired as well, I don’t think I had a day off after the last 16. The way I was playing then it took it out of me. If I made a break of 80 it was taking it all out of me. By the time I got to the final I was drained.
Have you watched the game since?
I’ve only watched the end. I’ve never watched the first three sessions and I couldn’t bear to watch when Peter come back so all I’ve watched is from 16-14.
How do you think the draw has been to you?
I think it’s probably middle of the road. On the one hand I could have got easier than Ian [McCulloch] but you have people like Ding in the draw as well so it could certainly have been more difficult.
Ian knocked you out 2 years ago. Any extra motivation?
Probably yes. Nobody likes to lose to the same player twice so I’ve got plenty of motivation to try and beat him.
Financially it has been a different year for you, have you bought anything extravagant?
Not really no. I know what is was like when I was struggling and you’ve got to look after the pennies. I have done the sensible thing by paying off the mortgage. I haven’t bought any Ferraris.
How has it been being WC?
Good. Before the season started I still had a little doubt. You want to play well because you don’t want to start to struggle because I knew if I did I would get really bad press. I’m glad that I’ve played consistently well throughout the year. Ian McCulloch’s been the only blip I’ve had in three years at the Worlds so it has been good to me.
Is there an extra incentive about becoming World Number one?
There’s probably four other football players right now who think there’s a good chance of it happening to them. The others need results to happen for them. As long as I beat Ian I would be hard to catch. It would mean everything to me to finish number one. It would mean I had done everything I had wanted to do. There would be no big goals left for me to do. Everybody as a kid wants to win the World Championship, be number one and with China I’m a multiple winner now as well.
Do you get a buzz when your name is called as the world champion?
It’s fantastic, the 1st time I really got it was the Premier League in front of a full house. Obviously here will be fantastic, I get goose bumps just thinking about it. I’ll be nervous but everyone’s nervous, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I played John Parrott here last year and he said it was the most nervous he had ever been, and he has been here about 17 times, so it shows what it does to everybody.