Michael van Gerwen is eyeing a return to the winning trail as he attempts to bounce back from his opening defeat of the Premier League campaign.

LeylandThe Leyland Paints-sponsored world champion and world number one went down 7-5 to Raymond van Barneveld in Glasgow last week.

Van Gerwen had previously started his campaign with three straight victories and is hoping Thursday’s meeting with Adrian Lewis in Exeter will put him back on the winning trail.

“Last week was disappointing but Raymond played very well so credit to him,” said van Gerwen, aged 24.

“I’ve had a chance to re-group this week and I can’t wait to get back on stage on Thursday night.

“There is no better feeling than winning and hopefully I can now put together another good run of victories.”

Van Gerwen and Lewis have gone head-to-head in a number of high-profile matches over the last two years, and the Dutch maestro believes they bring the best out of each other.

“We play at a similar pace and tempo so it’s usually a good game when we play each other,” added van Gerwen.

“Despite last week’s defeat, I’m still really happy and confident with my form.”

It’s a packed weekend for van Gerwen who will be looking to claim the first televised title of 2014 when he takes part in the UK Open at Minehead.

Van Gerwen has a bye to the third round where he will take on James Hubbard, Jeff Batham or Steve Hine.

Leyland Paints was founded in 1922 and has a long and distinguished history of affordable, trade quality paints.

Van Gerwen’s fellow Premier League star Simon Whitlock has vowed to draw on all his experience and battling qualities as he aims to kick-start his Premier Darts League season in Exeter this weekend.

The world number three is disappointed to be still searching for his first points of the campaign after four weeks of the season.

But Whitlock, who is sponsored by leading trade paint manufacturer Leyland Paints, insists he remains confident he can avoid the two relegation slots after nine weeks as he prepares to take on Wes Newton in Exeter on Thursday.

“It’s not been a great start to the Premier League for me and I have felt under the weather for the first few weeks,” said the 45-year-old from Waterlooville.

“But I’ve got to put that behind me now and look forward. There are five games to go before two people get eliminated and I probably need to win four of them.

“That’s going to be tough but I’m a battler and will keep going. One victory will bring a lot of confidence and hopefully I can get that against Wes in Exeter.

“I’ve got a lot of experience of big matches and I will need that on Thursday night.”

Whitlock is determined not to lose touch with the players immediately above him in the table as the season develops.

“At the moment, I’m only four points off fifth place so two or three wins on the trot would make a huge difference to my season,” added the ‘Wizard of Oz’.

“But my only focus at the moment is on the game against Wes. I know it’s vital to my chances of climbing the table.”

It’s a hectic weekend for Whitlock who will be in action at the UK Open in Minehead from Friday night.

He will face either Ronny Huybrechts or Adrian Gray in the third round, to which he has received a bye.

About The Author