PETER WRIGHT is hoping to continue his encouraging start to 2017 when he meets Michael van Gerwen in the Betway Premier League on Thursday.
The world number three opened his Premier League campaign with a win over Jelle Klaasen in Newcastle, before claiming two wins in the three UK Open Qualifiers held over the weekend in Wigan.
The Scot takes on reigning Premier League champion Van Gerwen at Nottingham's Motorpoint Arena on Thursday, and despite coming up against the runaway world number one is in confident mood.
"I'm very satisfied with how the weekend went and I feel really good," said Wright. "I've changed a few things and it's working.
"Michael's the guy to beat and it's up to the other players if they want to stop him winning all the trophies. I'm putting the work in and Gary's been in a couple of finals with him and been a bit unlucky so he's obviously putting the work in too.
"Michael's still very hard to beat and that's good because I'm up for it and I want it to be a great match, not just for us but for the fans and for everyone watch on Sky Sports."
A mention of having "changed a few things" brings attention back to Wright's reputation as tinker-man, and he concedes that Thursday is likely to see him using a different set of darts to those he defeated Klaasen with a week ago.
"I've done a lot of practice since the World Championship - I hit a nine-darter in practice on the day of the Awards Dinner at The Dorchester - and it's going well so far," he said.
"I actually won on Friday using 23g darts and then on Sunday I won using 20g darts. They're the same darts I used at the World Matchplay last year but I've found out why they weren't going right.
"I wasn't throwing them hard enough and they were twisting into the board, so if I throw harder and quicker they go in straight."
Having overcome Klaasen 7-4 in Newcastle, Wright is aiming to complete a Dutch Double against Van Gerwen - but will be wary of being drawn into a quick-fire contest.
"It didn't matter who I played last week, I just wanted to get the two points," adds the colourful Scot. "I was throwing at Jelle's pace at the beginning, and halfway through I asked myself what I was doing!
"I had already thought not to go at his pace and I got dragged into it - that will suit a lot of players, like Gary, Michael and Chizzy and they'll be great TV games for everyone. But I shouldn't be throwing that fast and I've got to be aware of it this week too."
A crowd of 7,000 fans will watch Thursday's Betway Premier League at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, with a limited number of tickets still available by calling 0843 373 3000 or via www.motorpointarenanottingham.com .
Betway Premier League
Night Two - Thursday February 9
Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
Adrian Lewis v Dave Chisnall
James Wade v Phil Taylor
Jelle Klaasen v Gary Anderson
Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
Kim Huybrechts v Raymond van Barneveld
Live on Sky Sports from 7pm