Bingham looks to find lost focus ahead of UK Championship

STUART BINGHAM says he will draw on all of his experience to comeback from a testing start to the season as he continues to readjust to life as the world champion.

Ball-run has had a bad start to November with early exits at the Bulgarian Open in Sofia and the Champion of Champions in Coventry and admits he will be knuckling down on the practice table ahead of the Betway UK Championship later this month.

He said: “I think that defeat in the Champion of Champions means that I have now only won one decider out of six so far this season, and that sort of statistic is the difference between having a good run or a bad one.

“Most of those matches I could have won the match before it got to a decider, and that is something I need to work on.

“The problem is I am not staying fully focussed. I was 3-1 on Tuesday and then started to think ‘what if I lost it from here again?’ And you just can’t do that.

“Six months ago I was literally on top of the world but at the moment it does all seem like hard work to even win a match.

“But I have been a professional for over 20 years and I have come through difficult periods like this before and that is what I will be trying to do again now.”

Bingham lost his opening match at the Ricoh Arena 4-3 to new Chinese starlet Zhou Yuelong, and the Essex pro says the 17-year-old certainly has the potential for a big future in the game after just 18 months on the Tour.

Bingham made a solid start at the Bulgarian Open with a 4-0 win over young Irishman Josh Boileau, which came with a re-spotted black in the last frame.

But he lost in the next round as Mark Allen came from behind to beat him in a deciding frame again in the best-of-seven encounter.

Allen went on to win his first title in 15 months with a 4-0 victory over Ryan Day in the final but Bingham said it was no consolation to lose to the eventual winner.

He said: “I don’t take any comfort from that because the match against Mark was one I had a good chance to win.

“And there was a frame that just sums things up for me at the moment where I missed good chances to pot a black for the win. It was bizarre.

“In the next frame I potted 10 reds and 10 blacks and was on for a maximum, so it shows how inconsistent I am at the moment.”

Bingham will return to action in two exhibition matches with five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan in Romania on November 21 and 22

Then it is on to the York Barbican for the UK Championship, which runs between November 24 and December 6, and Bingham says – if nothing else - he will be dressed to impress.

He explained: “During the World Championship, at the quarter-final stage, all the players got letters in their hotel rooms with the offer of free shoes from a cobbler in Sheffield.

“It is run by a guy called Peter Bullock and he has a shop on the High Street, and I think it came after Ronnie complained about how comfortable his shoes were. 

“So I popped along and he made me a brilliant pair of hand-made shoes – and I’ve got four pairs now! The latest ones are alligator or crocodile skin or something and they’ll certainly be on show in York.”

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