2024 World Snooker Championship: Mark Allen on Navigating the Pressure as ‘Favourite’ and His Newfound Game

Mark Allen preps for the Crucible, balancing confidence with realism amidst defensive play critique and venue debate.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-04-23

Naim Rosinski

6 minutes read

Mark Allen's Pre-Tournament Outlook

In an exclusive interview with, Mark Allen, the Northern Irish snooker sensation, shared his sentiments ahead of the highly anticipated 2024 World Snooker Championships. As he gears up to face Robbie Williams in his first match, Allen emanates a sense of confidence coupled with a pragmatic outlook on the challenges ahead.

Reflecting on his current form, Allen expressed a sense of contentment with his game, emphasising a newfound satisfaction that surpasses even his earlier tournament victories this year. "I feel like I'm in a good place right now in my game," Allen stated. "I’m in a great place mentally, it’s been another great year for me, so the plan is to finish it off well and win the big one."

Tempering Expectations

However, Allen remains grounded, recognising the formidable line-up of opponents he must navigate through. Addressing pundits' expectations, particularly those labelling him a favourite to reach the final due to his perceived 'favourable' draw, Allen offered a tempered perspective. "You take Ronnie [O’Sullivan] and Judd [Trump] out of the equation, it’s a favourable draw from that aspect," he acknowledged. "But I still have to go through a hell of a lot of world-class players if I want to make it to the final."

“The way I look at it is, I have a tough match in Robbie Williams first. Then potentially one of the all-time greats in John Higgins. Followed by the likes of former champion Shaun Murphy.”

Embracing Defensive Play Criticism

Acknowledging the criticism levelled at him for adopting a defensive style of play in recent tournaments, Allen remained unfazed, asserting that such scrutiny doesn't deter him. "To be honest, none of that bothers me," he remarked. "I feel like I'm playing into my strengths."

I don't actively choose to go out and play negatively. But the safety is so good at the minute that I'm creating a lot of opportunities for myself. In the previous years when I wasn't really creating opportunities in my safety, I would've felt like I had to go for the more difficult shots for this. It might be seen as negative for me, that's a positive,” he added. 


Image credit: WST

The Best Version of Mark Allen?

When asked whether this version of himself represents his peak, Allen remained cautiously optimistic. "I'm close. I still feel there's improvement to do," he admitted. "I’m happy where my game is at, this is probably the best I’ve been so far in my career."

"I think the day that I feel like I can't improve is a worrying day," Allen remarked, with a hint of humour in his tone. "I'll probably walk away from the sport when that comes, but I still feel like I'm going to improve." This candid acknowledgment underscores Allen's relentless pursuit of excellence. Despite his impressive track record and current form, he remains steadfast in his belief that there's always room for growth and refinement.

The Future of The Crucible Theatre

Shifting the conversation to the venue debate, Allen offered an honest perspective on the future of the World Snooker Championships at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. While acknowledging the historical significance of the venue, Allen raised valid points about the potential for expansion and enhancing the tournament experience. "Where playing at an arena that can’t hold more than 900 people?" he questioned. "With the way the sport is expanding and how popular it’s become; something needs to be done."

“You look at the Masters and the job they've done with that in the last few years and how amazing that atmosphere is at Ally Pally. Why can't we have that here? In an ideal world, you put money in and extend the venue to keep it here [in Sheffield] but I just don’t see that as being an option.” 

In conclusion, Mark Allen stands poised on the precipice of snooker greatness, ready to tackle the challenges and uncertainties of the 2024 World Snooker Championships with a blend of confidence, humility, and determination. As he steps onto the green baize to face Robbie Williams, Allen's journey promises to be one of intrigue and excitement, shaping the narrative of snooker's future.

Stay tuned to for live coverage of all the excitement surrounding the World Snooker Championship 2024, directly from the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. Keep yourself informed with the latest news, match results, and interviews by staying connected with our exclusive Snooker content.

Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.