Phil Taylor looking to bounce back

Phil Taylor admits that his shock defeat to Michael Smith in the Darts World Championship has given him the "kick up the backside" needed to push on for further honours.

Phil Taylor has admitted that losing to youngster Michael Smith in the World Championship has given him the "kick up the backside" needed to push on.

The 53-year-old was knocked out of the most prestigious event in the sport by Smith in December, despite winning the tournament 16 times previously.

Having slipped to second place in the rankings, Taylor is now determined to bounce back, starting with the clash against world champion Michael van Gerwen tonight in the opening of the Betway Premier League.

"That World Championship loss was a real kick up the backside and I'm ready to make amends for it," 'The Power' is quoted as saying in the Daily Star. "I just seemed to run out of energy towards the end of the year and that, of course, coincided with the World Championships.

"Since then, I've been to a health retreat in Portugal and now I can say I have never felt better. I got myself sorted out in a calm and relaxing situation that really helped."

Elsewhere, Raymond van Barneveld and Gary Anderson will meet at the Liverpool Echo Arena, while Peter Wright and Wes Newton also face each other.

Michael van Gerwen of the Netherlands in action during his quarter-final match Clinton Bridge of Australia against during day two of the Sydney Darts Masters on August 30, 2013
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