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“I’m a very dark place with my game” reveals Mark Allen

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Mark Allen watches on (credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

Mark Allen admits he is a “very angry person at the minute” and has revealed he considered pulling out of the Welsh Open.

Allen hit the headlines after conceding the final frame of his Second Round clash with Ali Carter in the World Grand Prix last Thursday despite trailing by just 24 points to two.

The Northern Irishman made a swift return to action at the Welsh Open on Monday, battling past arch rival Mark Joyce 4-2 to reach the Last 64.

The 32-year-old spoke for the first time since his premature concession in Cheltenham last week and admits he is battling his demons on the baize.

“It wasn’t pretty at all, but job done,” Allen told Eurosport after his win over Joyce.

“I’m just in a real dark place at the minute with my game, it’s not a lot of fun out there.

“If it wasn’t for the fact I was playing Mark, I probably would have pulled out.

“I spoke to Terry [Griffiths] and he actually advised me to pull out of this tournament but I didn’t really want to do that, especially after the way I finished in Cheltenham, I don’t think that would have went too well.

“I’m here, and don’t get me wrong, I’ll be trying my absolute nuts off but it’s just a real struggle.”

Allen has enjoyed a fine season so far, winning the International Championship and Scottish Open, while also finishing runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan in the UK Championship.

However, his start to the new calendar year has seen him suffer early exits at The Masters and Grand Prix, and Allen admits he is struggling to keep a lid on his emotions.

He added: “I don’t know if I can put my finger on it. I feel like I’m playing really well in practice but I’m always one shot away from blowing up.

“I’m not enjoying the game at all and once this tournament’s finished, a few weeks off will do me no harm.

“It’s very strange for me because I’ve been working really hard but I’m completely at odds with myself.

“The sooner this tournament ends, the better.

“Normally I’m up for the battle and when I’m struggling, I enjoy that challenge as well because it’s all facets of the game, you need to be mentally strong.

“Even when I’m practicing, I could make two or three maximums then miss a black off the spot and I’d want to just wreck the place.

“I’m a very angry person at the minute so I’m just happy to get to four and get a day’s rest.”

Allen will now face either Michael Holt or Mei Xi Wen in the Second Round in Cardiff on Wednesday.