Ronnie O'Sullivan says he always "feared the worst" when he enters matches after producing a comeback victory over Noppon Saengkham in the UK Championships.
'The Rocket' struggled to keep his Thai opponent off the table but eventually prevailed in a scratchy last-16 encounter and will face either Kyren Wilson or Ben Woollaston in the quarter-finals.
O'Sullivan believes it is his character and fear of losing that gets him over the line when he is behind in matches.
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"I'm pleased to be through," he told Eurosport.
"I just try to keep applying myself and dig in. I was trying to hang on in there and squeeze everything I could out of him. Mentally as well I did everything I could. It probably didn't look great some of the balls I was missing but that's just match snooker.
"I was looking for a point in the match where a little bit of turbo charge would kick in and I could knock three or four frames off pretty quickly. I keep telling myself that no matter what stage it is of the match that could happen but it only happens if you behave yourself.
I've never been the most confident person anyway. I've always feared the worst and that's my natural thing. I never think I'm good enough. I never get carried away and that's probably a good thing. It keeps you on your toes and makes you more wary and respect the game of your opponent.
"These are the tournaments where it's not just about ability and skill, it's also about bottle, character and that's why we're judged by these tournaments. If I could stay in this one for longer that would be nice."
Speaking after the match, Eurosport snooker expert Alan McManus believes O'Sullivan is a "shrewd operator" and that the six-time world champion has a "different mindset" to his opponents.
"He's talking about character and that's really nothing to do with snooker although for him it's a huge part of it," he said.
It's a different mindset he's got. He's a super shrewd operator out there. Let's not forget that about Ronnie.
"He's clever and got more mental skills out there in that arena than most guys have and that's why he's able to find something when he seems to be losing it on occasion."

‘A grandstand finish!’ – O’Sullivan reaches record 18th UK Championship quarter-final

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