PHIL TAYLOR believes that preparation is the key factor in his bid to extend his incredible success at the William Hill World Darts Championship over the festive period.

Taylor is aiming to win an unrivalled 17th World Championship in this year's 72-player event which begins at London's Alexandra Palace on December 15 and runs through to January 2, live on the Sky Sports Darts channel.

The 56-year-old will take on either John Bowles or David Platt in the first round, and is focusing on his own preparation ahead of his return to Alexandra Palace.

"I'm feeling alright," said Taylor, whose most recent World Championship win came in 2013. "I've got a couple of weeks now to get ready, which I'm pleased about, and for me now it's about rest and practice, and that's what I'll be doing.

"I've got to get my preparation right but I've played well this year. My preparation is going to perfect. It is all about preparation and that's what I'm targeting.

"I've got the winner of two players so I don't really know who I'm going to play yet, whether it's John Bowles or David Platt.

"David's been around on the circuit for a while before he moved to Australia and I know he's good, and John's done really well to qualify. It's two good players, don't get me wrong, so it all depends who gets through, but I'll be ready."

Taylor recently watched on from his Stoke home as Michael van Gerwen won the Players Championship Finals, with that tournament being the first he has missed out on qualification for as he begins to wind down his illustrious career.

The sport's most successful ever player is planning to cut down his appearances away from televised events during 2017, and admitted: "I want to enjoy it all now because I'm slowing down now.

"The schedule's busier and I find the travelling harder, but this has been my life now for over 25 years. I'm looking to relax and enjoy my life and as I'm coming towards the end of my career.

"I'll still play in the events I've qualified for and that I'm invited to, but away from that I'm slowing down now."

* The William Hill World Darts Championship will take place at Alexandra Palace, London from December 15-January 2, and will be shown live on the dedicated Sky Sports Darts channel as part of a festive season which includes Premier League football, EFL and Test match cricket.