Mark Selby: Alan McManus dismisses Crucible player's chances but Ronnie O'Sullivan warns 'not to write him off'

Mark Selby's inconsistent form stamps him as one of the favorites for the upcoming World Cup, says Eurosport's Alan McManus – but Ronnie O'Sullivan has warned not to write him off”.

Selby recently lost 5-1 to Marco Fu in the first round of the German Masters and exited the Grand Prix by the same score-line to Judd Trump in the quarter-finals.

He has not advanced beyond the last eight in any tournament since losing 10-7 to Mark Williams in the final of the British Open in October.

With the biggest snooker event of the campaign now just over two months away, McManus believes Selby cannot be classed as a serious contender in Sheffield.

„He didn't give us a good enough performance, forget the results for a minute,” McManus explained in analyzing his performance against Cork native Hill.

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„He plays well in patches, he played brilliantly in the Champions League last week – but that's another point. This is where you have to play well, under all the lights in front of a big crowd.

„He's no stranger to it, that's no problem, but he can't string good performances together in big events.

„That's the problem at the moment, if you don't do that, you're not going to win at Sheffield.”

However, O'Sullivan offered a different view.

„He's like me, that's it. We're both really badass or it just clicks and we can play really well,” he said.

„He had a stinky year last year but won at Leicester and looks like he should have won the world, doing a maxi.[mum]So don't write him off.”

When discussing the biggest problem facing Selby, McManus explained: „The matches he's won, usually he's had to fight and fight.


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„He's 4-1 and doesn't win easily, 80, 80, 80, a good night's sleep, a few more centuries; it's all hard work. It gets to you, eventually you start to be inconsistent.”

Selby is particularly frustrated with Hill, who believes McManus is „getting better all the time”.

Hill, who will play Fan Zhengyi in the next round in Llandudno, beat Ronnie O'Sullivan as a teenager at the European Masters in 2020.


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The Irishman has already reached the last 16 of the Northern Ireland Open and the quarter-finals of the Wuhan Open.

„He's been a professional for almost four years and is a much better player today than he was three and a half years ago when he beat Ronnie,” continued McManus.

“He's a different prospect, he wants to go into a battle and he's not afraid.

„I doubted he would be good enough to mix with Mark Selby today, but he played brilliantly.

„I knew he was good, but he was better than I thought.”

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