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Madness! Davis reveals he wasn't good enough at snooker's main skill

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Steve Davis and Suggs at Glastonbury.

Image credit: Eurosport

06/05/2020 at 06:05 | Updated 06/05/2020 at 08:32

Steve Davis has made the astonishing revelation that he could not master positional play in the 1980s despite lifting six world titles in a decade of complete dominance.

Davis - who has become a techno DJ since retiring in 2016 appearing alongside pop stars such as Madness singer Suggs - was asked by a member of the public if he would have altered his potting past.

"I don’t know exactly how to play position," said Davis during an Instagram chat with old rival Stephen Hendry, winner of a record seven world titles at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre in the 1990s.

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I came from an era where the game wasn't so much open the pack, win the frame..the game wasn't that way inclined. Arguably the cloths didn't open the balls up as much. But I also think positional play was nowhere near as advanced as it is now.

"The mentality of players in my era was not to try to win the frame in one visit like it is now. Positional play over the years has improved and has been refined."

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Davis won a third Masters title in 1997 when he recovered from trailing Ronnie O'Sullivan 8-4 to complete a 10-8 final win at the old Wembley Conference Centre amid diminishing returns.

His last world final victory came in 1989 when he demolished John Parrott 18-3 in the Crucible's most one-sided final. The Romford man reached the last four three times between 1990 and 1994, but could not make it back to the final beyond the 1980s.

The last of his 28 ranking event victories came at the Welsh Open in 1995 when he defeated John Higgins 9-3 in the final.

Davis did reach the final of the UK Championship in 2005, losing 10-6 to Ding Junhui, but his glory days were well behind him then.

His final appearance at the Crucible came at the 2010 World Championship when he completed a 13-11 win over John Higgins in the last 16 before losing 13-5 to the tournament winner Neil Robertson in the quarter-finals.

"I feel that I lost ground in the 1980s by not starting to realise that I had to be a better positional player to what you did (Hendry) with a different mentality," said Davis.

What I'm talking about is not where to put the ball, I could put the ball wherever, but it was more about which route to take: the sat nav part of it. In the end, a lot of my failings in the game were down to positional play.

"If I had spent more time playing position in practice than worrying about my technique, I may have had better longevity in the 1990s. Even though I still did a good job, I could have been a better positional player."

The man nicknamed 'The Nugget' remains in the top 20 century makers of all time, finishing his 38-year career with 355 centuries.

Of his new career in the DJ box, Davis said: "It's a different buzz from playing snooker.

"I've been on stage playing in a band and if anyone told me four years ago that was going to happen, I'd have laughed them out of the room.

"If you play snooker and have a beer, you lose coordination. Putting a record on and pressing play, you can have a beer. It's great."

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