DUTCH destroyer Michael van Gerwen believes that Gary Anderson and Phil Taylor are running scared of him.
The World No1 hit back at his fellow Premier League finalists after jibes from both players that he has peaked too early and could suffer burn out.
The green machine, who won his ninth event of the year in Gibraltar on Sunday night, faces Taylor in a table-topping clash in Rotterdam on Thursday.
But he reckons that both players are frightened of him. He said: “I must be on Phil and Gary’s minds because they keep talking about me in every interview. I think they are scared of me.
“It doesn’t annoy me, it is a huge compliment. I’m pleased that they say that, I see it in a positive way.
“All the players push me in this tournament, not just Phil and Gary. It’s not only Phil who pushes me. Everyone is playing well in this league and that is why the standard is so high now.”
The World No1 claimed a third successive European Tour win of the year with his 6-2 defeat of Dave Chisnall in Sunday night’s Gibraltar Darts Trophy final.
The triumph saw van Gerwen retain his title following another weekend of success as he won his ninth tournament of 2016, earning him a £25,000 top prize.
Van Gerwen will be challenging for another £25,000 cheque on Thursday when he takes on great rival Taylor in a shoot-out for the new Betway Premier League’s top spot bonus at a sold-out Rotterdam Ahoy.
The pair are locked on 24 points at the head of the table going into the final league night, with van Gerwen ahead on Leg Difference – meaning that a draw or a win will be enough for the Dutchman to top the table following the regular season for a fourth straight year.
Van Gerwen added: “Of course, I want to win it in front of my home crowd.
“It’s going to be amazing because there will be 10,000 fans, it’s going to be a very special night, that’s for sure.
“I’ve played in England against English players, Scotland against Scots and at last I get to play in my home country.
“There is definitely more pressure for me too. I obviously don’t want to let down my home fans and that is something new for me to deal with.”