Darts legend backs Adrian Lewis world title hopes ahead of Taunton exhibition night
Adrian Lewis's manager has warned rivals that the two-time World Champion is fully-focused on a second defence of his title despite admitting disappointment at his form.
The Professional Darts Corporation global number two has struggled to light up the oche in this year's major tournaments with only a European Tour event crown to his name.
However, mentor and 1983 World Champion Keith Deller warned Lewis's honesty, desire and commitment to the practice board will make him a force to be reckoned with at the Alexandra Palace in December.
Speaking ahead of Sunday's Legends of Darts exhibition at Taunton's County Ground, Deller said: "Adrian is a little bit disappointed that he has not won more this year. He has been a bit patchy and he admits it.
"The good thing about Adrian is that he knew straight away that he wasn’t good enough. We are honest with each other and I told him straight away that he wasn’t good enough and he agreed.
"But he is doing four or five hours a day on the board to get it right and that’s what you want to see and hear. You don’t want to hear someone going ‘I didn’t feel well’ or making excuses.
"Adrian accepts that his form hasn’t been good enough this year but he is world champion and if he wins the world title again we won’t worry about what has happened before."
Deller added that Lewis will be one of the names the sport's best will want to avoid in the draw for 2012's final tournament.
"They are all big titles but the world title is bigger than all of them put together," he said. "Adrian will be ready for the worlds and nobody wants to play him in the worlds. Eight sets is a great format for him.
"Adrian always seems to come good at the end of the year but we’re well aware that we want him coming good at the beginning and in the middle of the year.
"He wants to win more titles but there a lot of good players out there capable of averaging more than 100 nso you have got to put more work and effort in.
"Adrian is on that practice board to put it right and once he has the others have got to worry."
Deller will appear alongside darts' greats Eric Bristow, Bobby George and John Lowe at Somerset County Cricket Club from 7pm on Sunday.
As well as games against members of the audience, the quartet will go head-to-head with Deller promising quality, competitive darts.
Tickets start at £10 for standard admission, with VIP entrance including a meet and greet photo opportunity, buffet and prime seats at £40 each. Group discounts are available.
For more information and to book tickets call 0843 289 0442 or visit www.legendsofdarts.co.uk.