Painter’s push for the top four starts tonight

editorial image

Kevin Painter is hoping to start a charge towards the McCoy’s Premier League Darts play-offs in Nottingham tonight.

‘The Artist’, who is based in Northamptonshire, takes on Dutch star Raymond van Barneveld at the Capital FM Arena having suffered an 8-2 defeat at the hands of leader Phil Taylor in Cardiff last week.

With six matches remaining, Painter has dropped to second-from-bottom in the table but is just two points off James Wade who is second.

And the Daventry player is hoping he has now rediscovered the form that saw him make a good start to his debut season in the competition.

“I didn’t think I played that badly last week,” Painter said.

“But when you come up against Phil in the sort of form he is in, it’s always hard. Anyone averaging 113 is not going to give you many chances.

“I was happy with the majority of the game and I missed a couple of chances to take two more legs but I wouldn’t have got any more than that with the way Phil was playing.

“I need to get something out of the game tonight. Barney beat me in Glasgow so I am after a bit of revenge.

“But he is playing well, despite losing last week and it’s always hard against him.

“It’s really close and everyone will be looking to push on and get into the top four. I am no different.”

Painter was on the end of a hostile crowd in Scotland in his previous meeting with the five-time world champion.

And, even though tonight’s game is in England, he is expecting it to be a similar situation.

“Barney is just an extremely popular player with darts fans,” he added.

“I am not even sure he knows why he gets all that support but he has won the world title five times and he is a fine player.

“To be honest, it doesn’t really bother me that much.

“It’s important for me to concentrate on my game. I feel the form is coming back and I believe I can start moving in the right direction.”