It’s been four years since Joe Perry made the last 16 of the Betway UK Championship but he admits he’ll have to play much better if he wants to go any further.
The Chatteris potter looked well on his way to an easy victory in his third round clash against Kurt Maflin last night (December 4), storming into a 4-0 lead in a streak which included a 128 break in the second frame.
But following the interval, the 43-year-old wobbled, allowing Maflin to steal two frames.
Perry was able to regain his composure, however, and see off the world No.44 from Norway 6-3 to set up a clash with Mark Allen in the last 16.
But the former UK Championship semi-finalist admits he must be more clinical if he’s to replicate his past success at the York Barbican.
He said: “I was very solid before the interval but he also missed the chance to clear up twice, which would’ve made this match trickier.
“For some reason the 4-0 scoreline got to me a little bit and all I could see was danger signs and throwing it away. I crawled over the line in the end.
“This is where these tournaments are so different to others. I was in total control of the match but the interval changed everything.
“It’s hard to know what to do in the interval. I tried to do the right thing and sometimes when you’re 4-0 up you win 6-0.
“I haven’t seen a match through from start to finish yet. I haven’t been punished for my mistakes but I feel ok.
“I’m not at 100 per cent or flying but it’s a vast improvement from where I was in the first half of the season.”
An excited match-up against Allen lies in wait later this week and Perry cannot wait to pit his wits against the sixth seed in the competition.
He said: “Mark’s a top player. He’s got a great temperament. He just keeps battling and battling.
“He’s a brilliant player. He’s pretty good at everything. He’s been consistent this season and I know he’s been working hard on his game.
“You always have to play well to beat him.”
Watch LIVE coverage of the UK Championship on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds