'I did what I had to do to make last 16,' says Selby

Three-time world champion Mark Selby admitted his last 32 encounter with Martin O’Donnell was a poor spectacle.
Three-time world champion Mark Selby admitted his last 32 encounter with Martin O’Donnell was a poor spectacle.

It was a case of job done for three-time world champion Mark Selby, as he scrapped his way into the Betway UK Championship last 16.

The 36-year-old had appeared in fine form in his two opening ties at the first Triple Crown event of the season, but found the going somewhat tougher against world No.38 Martin O’Donnell in round three.

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Having gone behind in the match's early stages, Selby fought back to eventually prevail 6-3, and he admitted he did what he had to in a largely unentertaining spectacle.

“I got the job done tonight, but that’s about all I did do,” Selby said. “I got into the next round but there weren’t too many positives to take from the match.

“I thought it was a poor game from start to finish - and neither of us were brilliant - but I won and that’s what counts at the end of the day.

“I’ve been known to win a lot of matches when I don’t necessarily deserve it. I don’t enjoy games like that, but sometimes that’s the way the game pans out and you’ve got to do what’s needed to get over the line.”

Having twice lifted the trophy at the first Triple Crown event of the season, victory for Selby continued his journey towards the latter stages of this year's competition, with a clash against 2003 champion Matthew Stevens next up.

With a quarter-final place at stake, the Leicester potter is expecting a tough game and insisted that despite a series of big-hitters - such as reigning world champion Judd Trump - having already been knocked out, he isn’t thinking about his title prospects just yet.

He said: “Matthew’s a tough player and a class act. He’s massively underachieved in his career but he seems to be doing really well at the moment and it’s no surprise he’s having a good run here.

“He’s so naturally gifted that he can just turn up and produce a performance so I know it’s going to be very difficult. From what I saw in the last round he’s very sharp and I’ll have to be on it.

“You look at Judd losing the other day - he was expected to beat Nigel [Bond] but didn’t - so you’ve just got to go out there, try your best and if it’s enough then great.

“I don’t think you’re necessarily expected to win any game these days. You see shots here, there and everywhere and anyone can win matches, so I’m not getting carried away.”

Watch the UK Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White.

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