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Gurney: We can't afford to be Pole-axed

EXCLUSIVE

Daryl Gurney has warned that Northern Ireland can’t afford to be Pole-axed in the Betway World Cup.

Superchin and Brendan Dolan take on a tricky Poland pair in their opening clash in Frankfurt on Friday.

Northern Ireland have an excellent record in the competition reaching the semis in 2014, quarters in 2015 - losing to the Dutch on both occasions. Then in 2016 they reached the last four again before going out to England.

However a year ago Gurney and Dolan crashed out at the first hurdle to the Germans, who they could face in round two later this week.

Gurney knows it will be tough. He said: “There are no mugs at this level, trust me. This competition has been all about the shocks over the years.

“Scotland were No 1 seeds a year ago but lost to Singapore while Spain have taken some big scalps over the years too.

“Poland are really tough first opponents for Brendan and I. We can’t afford to take them lightly and we won’t. Krzysztof Ratajski and Tytus Kanik are good players. We know more about Krzysztof on the tour and he can beat anyone on his day, so we’ll have to hit the ground running.

“Germany caught us out last year but they are quality players. It’s the sort of tournament where you have to settle into the format very quickly or you are going home quickly.

“The great thing is that Brendan and I get on great so we enjoy the craic and that can make a difference if you have a good spirit.

“Obviously we want to have a good run again. We’ve got a proud record over the years plus when Mickey Mansell partnered Brendan before me.

“It would be great to go all the way but we just need to focus on Poland and go from there. We can potentially play Germany again in the next round, so it won’t get easier, that’s for sure.”

Gurney, 32, admits he’s buzzing to get back on stage on TV for the World Cup after narrowly missing out on the Unibet Premier League finals night.

He added: “I’m pleased to be back this week. I feel like I’m at a loose end on Thursday nights without the Premier League.

“I’m happy with the way my year has gone. Finishing fifth in the league was decent in my first year but now I’m wanting to win another major title, that’s the target.”

Date : 31-05-2018

 

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