Phil Haigh ✍️
Ronnie O’Sullivan has hit out at Jack Lisowski’s mindset, accusing him of making excuses for poor results and stating: ‘Winners win, losers lose. End of story.’
Lisowski spoke ahead of his Welsh Open quarter-final clash with Ali Carter on Friday and was asked why he felt he has had a disappointing season so far, with this being only his second run to a last eight.
‘I haven’t really got into the season, it feels like it’s almost over now,’ Jackpot told Eurosport. ‘It’s just been so quick, been a strange old year with everything going on in the world.
‘Snooker’s not really been the most important thing for me, maybe I’ve lost a bit of focus.
‘I had a nice break last summer and I never really recovered from it. It feels like the season is just starting to get going for me and the Worlds is coming up, so time to pull my finger out.’
O’Sullivan was not impressed with Lisowski’s answer, saying he was ‘baffled’ by his reasoning and that any break from playing is no excuse as he took a year off before winning the 2013 World Championship.
‘I don’t get this break, I’m really baffled by this, they’re looking for excuses on why they’re not getting performances,’ said O’Sullivan.
‘I’m being very harsh, but it’s the same for everybody, there’s lots of tournaments, there’s lots of matches.
‘No one should be not fresh. If you take six weeks off and there’s been four tournaments, yes you’re going to be rusty for two or three tournaments, but I’m just not buying it.
‘I took a year off and came back and won the World Championship, played one match. It can be done.’
The Rocket was not questioning the immense talent of Lisowski, but suggested he has not got the mindset required to be a champion, with the 30-year-old still looking for his first ranking title.
‘I don’t like making excuses for people,’ he said. ‘It’s about getting down, winning tournaments.
‘Winners win, losers lose. End of story. You want to be a winner, you need to not just pot balls, it’s the mindset and the mindset makes a champion.
‘Talent and mindset are totally different things, a lot of these players are looking to improve but really it’s a mindset thing. Go and have a chat with Stephen Hendry is what I would say.’
O’Sullivan admitted that it was a harsh assessment, and it is, with Lisowski reaching six ranking finals, and only losing to Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Neil Robertson in those showpieces – three of the world’s finest.
Lisowski is certainly motivated to win and has enlisted the help of former world champion Peter Ebdon to help him with the mental side of his game in recent months.
Jackpot also has a different motivation to other players, wanting to succeed so he can inspire people who have suffered as he did as a teenager when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
He may not have the innate ruthless streak that some players have, but he has what he describes as a ‘higher purpose’ in his snooker career.
Speaking to Metro.co.uk in April last year, Jack said: ‘I never really realised it until the last few months, but deep down that’s what I really want to do.
‘That’s the frustrating thing when I’m losing because I don’t want to…not let those people down but I want to use the second chance that I’ve been given to inspire people if I can.
‘Look, it’s not what I wake up and think about first thing every morning, but if I’m going deep, that’s my deep goal in life. I want to be world champion because that would be the coolest thing for me to help people.
‘I’d call it a higher purpose. When you get deep you think, “what am I doing here on this planet?” I think that’s mine and it gives me a bit of pressure a good kick up the backside sometimes. I don’t want to be an average snooker player, I don’t want to not be learning, not improving, just getting to last 16s, last 32s.
‘I really want to be a great player, not just a flash in the pan and win as many as I can and inspire people at the same time, It’s easier said than done, but that’s my motivation.’
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