McGill has the bit between his teeth again but he wants cash more than trophies

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Anthony McGill is rediscovering form and is off to a good start at the English Open (Picture: Getty Images)

Anthony McGill has rediscovered some motivation and is feeling good in his game again, but it is the cold hard cash that he wants to get his hands on rather than trophies.

The Scot had an extremely forgettable start to the season, losing his first five matches and admitting that he struggles to find any interest in tournaments outside of the World Championship.

The 30-year-old has snapped back into gear, though, now winning four games on the spin including his first round win at the English Open on Monday, seeing off Gao Yang 4-1.

He’s feeling positive again and is unconcerned by the dip in form after the World Championship, accepting that he does not have the machine-like quality of those at the very top of the sport, but will look to cash in when he’s in form.

‘I feel good, my game’s good right now,’ McGill told Metro.co.uk. ‘It’s getting better, regardless of the results, I’ve won a few games lately in qualifying. But regardless of the way the score lines are going, my game’s in good shape so I’m feeling good.

‘I’m just the type of player who goes through a lull and other times I’m really into it. After the Worlds you go through a little bit of a lull and maybe not bother so much, but now there’s some important tournaments coming up and I want to try and qualifying for the Masters so it’s time to start trying hard.

‘I’ve been a pro 10 or 11 years now and I know what happens with me. It’s difficult to keep that intensity all year, I think. That’s why guys like [Judd] Trump are so impressive, there’s not many guys that can do that. I try and do it at big tournaments, I should try and do it at them all, but I’m trying hard.

‘My standard of game…I’m not high enough quality that I can just not bother and still play great. If I’ve got the bit between my teeth I think I can play as well as anyone, but guys like Ronnie [O’Sullivan] and Trump can just float about and play like that, but I need the bit between my teeth. But I’m feeling positive.’

Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day Seven

McGill has been through a season of two halves so far (Picture: Getty Images)

Asked whether that gritty determination makes him confident that he can win tournaments, he said: ‘There’s not a player that I don’t think I can beat. I don’t really care if I win or lose, it’s just as long as I do my job. If the other guy’s too good then fine, that’s the nature of the game, but it’s coming together.’

Having won the 2016 Indian Open and the 2017 Shoot Out, McGill is experienced as a ranking event winner, but it has been a while since that most recent triumph.

There is a long way to go in Milton Keynes this week, but on the possibility of adding another trophy to his collection this weekend, he was not that fussed.

Trophies are not at the top of McGill’s wish list, preferring the prize money to the ‘bit of metal’ and enjoying the ‘challenge of the game’ over the glory of success.

‘It’d be good, but honestly I’m not bothered, I’d rather get my hands on the money, to be honest,’ he said. ‘The trophy…I’m not even sure where my Indian Open trophy is, I don’t really care.

McGill begins this tournament ranked number 16 in the world (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I just like playing, I like the challenge of the game more than the desire to lift a trophy, I’d rather have the pay cheque. It’s just a bit of metal or a bit of plastic.

‘If it was the Worlds I’d get a replica. They give you a small replica, but I’d get a full size replica if it was the world. The small ones are shocking.’

McGill takes on Gerard Greene in the second round in Milton Keynes this week.


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