The Jester from Leicester beat Australian Neil Robertson 6-4 in the last-eight having rallied from 4-0 down to progress into the semi-finals at the Barbican in York.
He faces Mark Davis on Saturday and a win will see him return to the top of the world rankings in place of Judd Trump.
But it is the prize of a first UK Championship title that is fuelling the 29-year-old's ambitions. However, having also found himself 3-0 down to Ryan Day in the previous round he is aware of the need to start better against an in-form Davis.
"It is frustrating because I know how well I am cueing in practice and it is only because of doubt that I am not trusting myself out there," he said.
"It is frustrating and something I need to try and overcome because against Neil I felt as positive as ever at 4-3, yet at 0-0 I felt as negative as ever which is strange.
"I feel I am capable of beating anybody and winning any tournament. It is more or less about giving myself a kick up the backside."
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