Champ Higgins gets appetite back just in time for Crucible

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DEFENDING champion John Higgins has re-discovered his love for snooker – and he hopes just in time to land his fifth world title.

Four-time Crucible winner Higgins returns to Sheffield next Saturday to begin the defence of his Betfred.com World Championship title.

But the Scot admits he’s far from firing on full cylinders ahead of the game’s biggest tournament.

“It’s not been nice going to events this season knowing you’re not much of a runner,” revealed Higgins. “But you live and learn don’t you?

“There’s private reasons why I’ve not played well, it’s about you feel in yourself.

“If you don’t feel as though you’re putting the effort in, and you don’t want to put the effort in, that’s probably the reason I’ve not done well.

“I’ve probably not strung a week’s practice together all season – and I’m a big believer that you only get out of your life what you put into it

“I’ve only got out of this season what I’ve deserved, which is nothing.

“I know what the faults are myself – and I’m the only one who can rectify them. Nobody else can do it, but it’s only me.”

World No 6 Higgins is in the process of building a practice table on the back of his Bothwell home.

And the Scot hopes the next 10 days of solid practice will help him start his title-defence with a bang.

“I’m not going to be going up there high on confidence, but I’ve been to the World Championship before not feeling that great and managed to come through and win the title,” added Higgins.

“I went to Sheffield last season and people were maybe expecting me to do well after the successful season I’d had, but luckily for me I managed to hold myself together and win it.

“So I’ve done it [won the title] from both ends of the form spectrum, so to go there and win it this year would just be amazing. But my form this season has been nowhere near good enough.

“If I win my first match then your confidence can all change. It’s really important to win your first round match, if you can get through that then you can settle into the tournament and anything can happen”