ROB CROSS is sitting pretty at the top of the Unibet Premier League and feeling fresh for the run-in ahead of his meeting with Peter Wright in Liverpool on Thursday.
Cross has enjoyed a successful second Premier League campaign so far, with six wins from his last seven outings leaving him well placed to reach The O2 for back-to-back Play-Offs appearances.
The former World Champion's next assignment sees him face 2017 finalist Wright at the M&S Bank Arena, and Cross is feeling confident of sustaining his high level of performance for the remaining six matches of the season.
“I believe I’m better this year. I’m not fighting myself to grind out results like I was this time last year," said Cross, who will open the show in Liverpool against Wright on Thursday night.
"The busy schedule is mayhem but it's a good mayhem! I've managed my time a lot better this year, I'm enjoying life and I'm enjoying my darts so no complaints
"I spent a lot of last year as a sponge, learning about playing at the top level of the sport week-in, week-out but I didn't really develop as I would've liked but this year I'm improving.
"First of all my aim is to qualify for the Play-Offs and then look to top the table, which would be an amazing thing for me to do.
"Peter was world number two for a long time, he's a player I would never take for granted. If I take my chances I'll win but if I don't I'll lose - it's as simple as that."
Cross' last two Premier League matches have seen him defeat Jeffrey de Zwaan and Daryl Gurney in front of their home crowds in Rotterdam and Belfast.
The world number two admitted he faced difficult times in both matches, but held his nerve to pick up a vital four point haul in his bid to claim a maiden Premier League title.
"I walked out in Belfast and it felt like I'd just started the Premier League again, I felt so fresh," Cross added.
"It was all about big scoring and taking my chances with a lot of last darts in hand.
"I felt a bit absorbed by the crowd in Belfast in the first leg but Daryl never got going and I took advantage of that.
"The crowd went quieter more quickly than the previous week, which threw me a bit, but it was very pleasing to get that win in Belfast."
Night 11 of the Unibet Premier League in Liverpool will be shown live on Sky Sports, worldwide through the PDC's broadcast partners, and through video.pdc.tv for Rest of the World Subscribers.
Night 11 - Thursday April 11
M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
Rob Cross v Peter Wright
Gerwyn Price v Mensur Suljovic
James Wade v Daryl Gurney
Michael Smith v Michael van Gerwen
Tickets: 0344 8000 400 or click here