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Allen shrugs off fan's insults and vows to improve

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By Andrew Lawton

Mark Allen took stick from an angry fan but insists his determination to improve won't be dimmed by a quarter-final exit from the Dafabet Masters after a 6-2 defeat to Marco Fu last night.

Some of the Alexandra Palace crowd didn't cover themselves in glory with their rowdy support.

"You get a few idiots no matter where you go. It wasn't so much what they were shouting it was the timing of it," Allen said.

"There was one guy who, in between frames, came right up to me and said 'you're an effing disgrace' - being 3-0 down it doesn't really help you," added the Ulsterman.

But Allen didn't let the incident annoy him and signed autographs after the match.

"You have to give back to the fans, I knew I didn't have to go into TV straight away so you have time so why not give back, take a few photos and sign a few things," said the 30-year-old.

"It takes 10 minutes but how many people are going to go home and say 'how nice was that'. That's not why I do it but it's simple and I think more players should do stuff like that."

Scottish Open winner Fu was in sparkling form and hit the highest break of the tournament - worth £10,000 - with a 140 in frame seven.

Allen has only reached the semi-finals at the Masters twice in nine attempts but is determined to compete against the world's best, like Fu, on a regular basis.

"It's up to me to get better myself and be included in that bracket," he said. "For me it's back to the practice table and continue to work hard.

"I'm capable on any given day but I'm not finding that consistency, I played reasonably well against John Higgins but even then I relied on him missing a few balls that he wouldn't normally miss.

"I don't feel like I'm forcing enough chances out of my opponents at the minute, there's stuff I need to work on but I am trying hard.

"I'm confident in my ability, I'll keep working hard and hopefully the wins will come."

Fu was red hot from the word go with breaks of 74 and 83 helping him take a 3-0 lead before the man from Antrim won the next frame heading into the mid-session interval.

Allen won the following frame too but Fu returned with breaks of 97 and 140 before he wrapped up victory and stayed on course for the £200,000 top prize.

Allen picks up a cheque for £25,000.

Fu will meet Ronnie O'Sullivan in tomorrow's semi-finals after 'The Rocket' shook off illness to defeat Neil Robertson 6-3.

Defending champion O'Sullivan said: "Physically I feel better. The last three or four days I've been really ill."

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