Perry won’t shirk Rocket challenge

Joe Perry insists he will take a positive attitude into his second-round match with defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan at the World Snooker Championship (O’Sullivan 11/10 Outright Winner In-Play).

The 39-year-old Perry booked a date against the five-time champion with a superb come-from-behind victory over Jamie Burnett on Monday after it seemed as though he would be making an early exit from the Crucible.

After trailing 6-3 overnight, the Wisbech-born veteran reeled off seven of the eight frames to be played to secure a 10-7 triumph in Sheffield.

Next up for the ‘Fen Potter’ is a tussle with a man who many pundits believe is the best player ever to grace the green baize.

But despite the fact that he will be a huge underdog going into the match, Perry is determined to raise his game and give the ‘Rocket’ a run for his money (Perry 80/1 Outright Winner).

“It doesn’t get any tougher than Ronnie O’Sullivan, but, saying that, I would have been absolutely gutted to be sat at home watching Jamie play him,” he said.

“We all have to believe that we can win. If we play our absolute best and cut out the errors, and he isn’t at his best, then he’s beatable.”

O’Sullivan has enjoyed a successful, albeit truncated, season and looked relaxed and comfortable in beating Finland’s Robin Hull 10-4 in the first round.

Perry will need to dig deep and try to stay with his illustrious opponent and hope the demons that have, at times, haunted O’Sullivan return to thwart his progress in south Yorkshire.

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