The 43-year-old from Liverpool looks back on a fine run to the semi-finals of the Paul Hunter Classic.
Rod, despite losing 4-3 in the semis to Mark Allen in Germany, you must have been happy with your week’s work.
I was delighted to get to that far, and I never really got much of a chance in the last frame against Mark. I didn’t do much wrong and I’d done well to stay with him up to 3-3. I played really well on the last day considering I had about four hours sleep.
Your last 32 match against James Cahill finished at 3.30am, what time did you get to bed?
After 4am – and I didn’t sleep until 5am, then I was playing at 10am the next morning. But I still felt on a high, the momentum keeps you going and I beat Fraser Patrick 4-0 in the morning match. Maybe I should try only sleeping four hours more often. Over the two days I beat some good players including Mark Williams and it’s just great to be competing against the top guys. I’m proud to have acquitted myself well and I’ve no regrets. It was a great tournament as usual, the support is brilliant.
You won a PTC event in 2012 but you’ll lose the benefit of that at the next seeding cut-off so was it important to have a good run in Germany?
You can’t really think like that, you just have to keep trying and hope you have a good run somewhere, you never know where it might be. I’m just pleased to be playing well.
Any targets for the season?
Yes I’d love Liverpool to win the Premier League! Snooker wise, I’ve had a highlight already, getting to a semi-final. And I got to the semis in Berlin earlier this year so maybe there’s something in the German water. I’d like to qualify for big events and play as many top players as I can, and just enjoy it. That’s my philosophy now, I put myself under no pressure and enjoy every match.
Do you take inspiration from players like Mark Davis and Joe Perry who are finding their best form late in their careers?
Definitely. Alan McManus is another one who has played great over the last couple of years. Us old boys are making it tought for the young players sometimes.
Balotelli. Good or bad?
I’ll let you know at the end of the season. I just hope the Reds have a good campaign and particularly Jon Flanagan, who is a close friend of my brother Luke – they grew up together. Jon was excellent last season and I’m sure he’ll do a good job for us again.