Darts: Phil Taylor determined to put Premier League defeats behind him
PHIL Taylor is bidding to avoid an unwanted treble when the McCoy's Premier League visits Cardiff tonight.
The 52-year-old has lost his last two matches against Gary Anderson and Andy Hamilton – and has never been beaten three successive times since the competition was launched in 2005.
Taylor, from Wychwood Park near Crewe, faces Wes Newton at the Motorpoint Arena, looking to get back on track after slipping down to fifth in the table, three points adrift of leader Raymond van Barneveld.
"I've had tough spells in the Premier League before and come through them, so there's no reason why I can't do it again," said Taylor, who lost three of his opening four games in 2008 before winning the title.
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"Gary and Andy have played superbly in the last couple of weeks against me and deserved to win.
"I know Wes will be on top of his game tonight as well. Every week is massive and I'll be dong everything I can to return to winning ways."
Newton is currently joint-bottom with Cross Heath's Adrian Lewis, below, and needs the points to ensure his Premier League experience doesn't come to an abrupt end.
In a new twist, just three matches remain before the bottom two are relegated from the remainder of the competition.
"I'm putting myself under pressure to get a result because I don't want to be where I am," said Newton.
"I'm not getting the results, but I'll keep turning up and trying my heart out."
Lewis, despite languishing in the bottom places, has shown signs of recovery in the past couple of weeks.
The two-time world champion has beaten Michael van Gerwen and drawn with Anderson ahead of tonight's meeting with fourth-placed Robert Thornton.
"In the past few years I've tended to start slowly and get back as it gradually goes on, but this year you haven't got that chance with relegation," said the 28-year-old.
"You've got to punish players as soon as you have the chance.
"I haven't been doing that, but I'm on the way up now."
Hamilton, from Dresden, will look to build on his 7-3 victory over Taylor when he faces Australian Simon Whitlock.
Whitlock, who is chasing his third successive win, said: "Andy's always tough and I'm going to have to play my best game again."
Tonight's other matches see leader Van Barneveld take on James Wade, while Anderson takes on Van Gerwen.
ADRIAN Lewis has ended his partnership with manager Keith Deller.
Deller, the 1983 world champion, had managed Lewis for three highly-successful years.
The Cross Heath thrower won the world championship twice, claimed two World Cup titles alongside Phil Taylor and reached the finals of the Premier League and European Championship.
"It has been a successful time for all concerned and we parted on amicable terms," said Lewis.
"This move to leave Keith Deller Sports Management does not affect my commitment to the sport, it is just time to move on."