• PDC World Championship

Beaton: Van Gerwen thinks like 'winner' Taylor

Rob Bartlett at Alexandra Palace
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Steve Beaton believes a winning mentality is often the difference between winning and losing © PA Photos
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Steve Beaton is adamant going into a darts tournament believing you are not going to lose is the difference between success and failure, which is why Michael van Gerwen can go on to emulate Phil Taylor.

Beaton will compete at his 26th world darts championship when he faces either Devon Petersen or Mohammed Latif Sapup in the PDC code at Alexandra Palace on December 16, and indicated 'the Power' has upped the standard of the game by consistently breaching the hundred average mark.

While van Gerwen has enjoyed relative success in his swift rise to PDC world No. 2, Beaton believes all players must now up their game or risk being left behind.

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"In this sport now, there are not many chances," Beaton told ESPN. "You've got to be at a hundred average or you're walking home. The standard since [Phil] Taylor went into the hundred average, he's brought everybody else with him. He's played so well. Once you start winning a few you think you're going to win them all.

"That's what's happened with Michael [van Gerwen] - he's started to win again. He was struggling for a few years, he had that good little run in the [2012] World Matchplay where he hit that nine-darter against me. Then he went on and improved from there and he's gone from strength to strength.

"He's got this attitude that he's never going to lose - the same as Taylor thinks. It must be great to go up there thinking you're not going to lose, that you're going to win every match. That's the sort of mentality you've got to get in your head."

Van Gerwen was a beaten finalist to Taylor at last year's PDC World Championship, but wowed the 'Ally Pally' crowd by hitting 17 perfect darts - one away from a first ever back-to-back televised nine-dart finish - against James Wade in the semi-final.

Beaton believes that type of mentality and confidence is the difference between walking off the stage as winner or loser - and that when you are the latter, it can prove a lonely place to be.

"You've always got to go in positive," Beaton said. "I've been playing well all year but sometimes you just need a little bit of luck. If you're struggling, you want the other person to be struggling a little bit so you get away with the odd game.

"When you're losing, you look around and the crowd aren't going to give you any sympathy. They'll be shouting at you, they're sometimes the last people to look to. But you've just got to work it out, even if you're 3-1 down you can still get yourself back out of it. It is a lonely game up there."

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