John Henderson says the upsets at this year’s PDC World Championships have fuelled his belief he can reach the latter stages of the tournament.
The Huntly thrower will be back in action tomorrow as he plays Michael Smith in the third round.
Henderson is underdog against the world No9, but the Highlander believes he can cause a shock.
Victory would take Henderson into round four against newcomer Ryan Searle.
Henderson’s half of the draw has opened up favourably, with big names like Peter Wright, Gerwyn Price, Mensur Sulijovic and Ian White already knocked out.
That gives him the confidence he can mount a charge towards the latter stages at the Alexandra Palace – provided he can see off Smith tomorrow afternoon.
Henderson said: “Everybody will be thinking they have a good chance with the likes of Peter Wright and Raymond van Barneveld going out.
“A lot of the seeds have dropped out, but the two main players are still going in Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson.
“Michael Smith is still going and I think everybody is looking at this half of the draw and thinking it’s wide open.
“If I get through this game you never know – I could get through to the final because the chance is there.
“But it’s one game at a time – I’m not going to get ahead of myself.
“It will be a tough game against Michael and, hopefully, I can get the result I’m looking for.
“You have got to think that the upsets potentially make the job easier.
“But they (the seeds) have been beaten by players that I know are more than capable of winning the tournament.
“You have to take something from it, some of them are in my half of the draw and they are out.
“After Michael, if I’d won, I would have expected to play Mensur Sulijovic but that can’t happen now.
“Michael Smith is the game I’m thinking about.
“However, if I get through that then a path to the final is within my grasp. I’m really hoping that I get there.”
After beating Gabriel Clemens 3-2 in the second round on Friday, Henderson flew back to the north-east and spent Christmas at home in Huntly.
Today, he jetted back down to London ahead of tomorrow afternoon’s encounter with Smith.
Henderson is hoping for easier travel ahead of this match than he had before facing Clemens.
With Gatwick Airport shutdown due to drone incidents his flight was diverted to Heathrow.
Henderson added: “It will be around 4pm tomorrow that I play.
“I got an early flight today which means I can go down there, chill out, get a good practice in and be ready for the game the next day.
“It wasn’t the greatest of preparations being delayed ahead of the first game.
“But it was the day before so I had the whole day on Thursday to get over it and have a practice before my game.
“It wasn’t ideal but it was just a little hiccup which didn’t bother me in the slightest.”