Glen Durrant is aiming to put his confidence issues behind him at this weekend's Ladbrokes Masters as the Premier League champion makes his debut in the first televised event of 2021.

A sensational first 21 months in the PDC culminated with Premier League glory in October, but soon after Durrant contracted Covid-19 which proved to be the start of a troubled end to 2020 for the three-time Lakeside Champion.

The 50-year-old revealed he was hit hard by the illness which contributed to a loss of form and an uncharacteristically poor set of results, ending with a credible run to the last 16 of the World Championship.

"Ever since the Premier League final it's all gone badly wrong, in terms of both health and technical problems in darts," Durrant explained.

"I went into the Worlds with zero confidence. I was trying to talk a good story but inside I knew I was struggling a little bit.

"After I lost at Ally Pally I took two weeks off. It was difficult not throwing darts but it worked and I've re-found the love for practice.

"Now, I'm definitely not the guy who went to the Grand Slam, the Winter Series, even the World Championship when my confidence in my game was on the floor.

"The Masters is coming at the right time for me. It gives me a chance to eradicate all the confidence concerns I've got."

Glen Durrant
Durrant is aiming to recapture the form that saw him lift the Premier League title


Durrant's first appearance in The Masters will see him take on former runner-up Mervyn King for the right to face Rob Cross in the quarter-finals.

The three-time televised semi-finalist is under no illusions of the size of the task ahead of him, but Durrant is feeling upbeat about his chances of a good run in the event.

"I need a huge win over Mervyn King, he is someone I have all the respect in the world for and I know how tough it will be to beat him," Durrant continued.

"It's a new year and I'm feeling good. The Masters will be more important to me than a lot of other players confidence wise.

"I've got to keep looking forward and remember what a fantastic two years I've had in the PDC.

"I've just got to put it down as a difficult few months. Considering I'm the guy who 'wasn't going to make it in the PDC' it's been an unbelievable journey so far.

"I'm working hard and I can't wait for 2021 starting with The Masters."

The Ladbrokes Masters will take place from January 29-31 at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.

Worldwide coverage will be led by host broadcaster ITV4 in the UK and Ireland, as well as through RTL7 in the Netherlands and DAZN in various global territories, as well as through the PDC's global broadcasters, for PDCTV Rest of the World Subscribers and through matchroom.live.

2021 Ladbrokes Masters
Friday January 29 (1900 GMT)

First Round x8
Ian White v Mensur Suljovic
Glen Durrant v Mervyn King
Dimitri Van den Bergh v Chris Dobey
Krzysztof Ratajski v Simon Whitlock
Michael Smith v Adrian Lewis
Daryl Gurney v Jeffrey de Zwaan
Jose de Sousa v Jonny Clayton
Joe Cullen v Stephen Bunting

Saturday January 30
Afternoon Session (1245 GMT)

Second Round x4
Rob Cross v Durrant/King
James Wade v Van den Bergh/Dobey
Nathan Aspinall v White/Suljovic
Dave Chisnall v Gurney/De Zwaan

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Second Round x4
Gary Anderson v Smith/Lewis
Peter Wright v Ratajski/Whitlock
Gerwyn Price v Cullen/Bunting
Michael van Gerwen v De Sousa/Clayton

Sunday January 31
Afternoon Session (1245 GMT)

Quarter-Finals

Evening Session (1900 GMT)
Semi-Finals
Final