Exclusive: “I know I’m capable of more,” Mark Allen reflects on defeat at the Crucible

Allen reflects on his performance and the dramatic exit at the event following a loss to Higgins.

Shane MacDermott
S. MacDermott

Last Updated: 2024-04-30

Louis Hobbs
.: Snooker player Mark Allen aiming a shot at the World Snooker Championship

Disappointed but showing a strong urge for a return triumph

Gutted Mark Allen believes he will one day be world champion.

The Northern Irish title hope, 38, saw his dreams of a maiden Crucible crown dashed in a dramatic late-night 13-12 defeat to all-time great John Higgins in the last 16.

World No.3 Allen missed a red with the rest on 62 as the Wizard of Wishaw conjured up a magical clearance to win on the final black.

The double to kickstart the match-winning break was described as “the bravest shot I’ve ever seen” by seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.

And after the painful defeat, Ulster potter Allen told SportsBoom: “I believe I can come back and win this.

“I’m disappointed now after losing at the World Championship on the black-ball.

“But, it’s been another very steady season without being spectacular.

“I played really well at the Champion of Champions but other than that it hasn’t been good enough.

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I’m doing all right, but I don’t want to be doing all right, I want to be doing a lot better. I know I’m capable of more.

Mark Allen

"That’s a match that got away and I’m devastated with the way that I played more than anything.

“I had so many chances to win that match 13-6, 13-7 or 13-8. That wouldn’t have been too far from the realms of possibility with the chances I had.

Image Credits: World Snooker Tour (WST)

Image Credits: World Snooker Tour (WST)

"I just didn’t play well enough. That’s the thing where I’ll have to go away and look at what really went wrong.

“It’s a tough place to play at the best of times, but when you’re fighting with what game you’re going to play it’s not a lot of fun out there.

"I don't think I need to change much because I created so many chances. I just missed too many balls and that's disappointing because that's something I pride myself on by having a strong cueball."

Boosting confidence of rival Higgins  

And Antrim ace Allen has urged his rival to believe he can go on and lift the treasured trophy once more after another moment of magic.

He said: “As soon as that double went in you knew he was going to clear up, that’s just what John Higgins does.

“I tried to tell him at the end that he needs to believe in himself that he can go on and win this. He’s one of the very few who can.

“He’s been there and won it multiple times. I know he’s had a tough time in regards to winning things, but there aren’t many people who can do that at 12-12 at the Crucible so he needs to give himself a massive pat on the back.

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I feel like he’s got in his own way recently. That’s not talking down to John because he’s one of the all-time greats.

Mark Allen

“He’s someone I consider a friend on the tour and he’s one I’ll be cheering on to do well.”

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Shane MacDermott
Shane MacDermott Sports Writer

Shane is a respected journalist who has covered a range of sports for a number of years.