Why I've got a bright future despite 'pathetic' World Championship exit, explains Mark Allen
Rubbish, pathetic and embarrassing - that was how Mark Allen described various aspects of his performance as he crashed out of the Betfred World Snooker Championship.
Yet he claims his future has never looked brighter and puts that down to an exciting link-up with new coach Chris Henry.
Henry - who has previously worked with world champions such as Stephen Hendry, Peter Ebdon, Shaun Murphy and Graeme Dott - has been helping Allen for six weeks, although that didn't stop him heavily losing his quarter-final 13-6 to Kyren Wilson in Sheffield yesterday afternoon.
The Antrim potter was well in the contest at 4-4 following their first session but Wilson won seven of the next eight frames to lead 11-5 overnight and soon wrapped up victory to reach the semi-finals for the first time.
And World No.16 Allen didn't hold back as he lambasted his performance against the man he beat in the Masters final to claim his first triple crown event back in January.
"It was rubbish really from start to finish," fumed Allen. "I never felt involved in the match and I was pretty flat - which for the quarter-finals of the World Championship is pretty embarrassing to say.
"There was very little intensity there and I couldn't get anything going to give me that fire in the belly.
"It's something I'm going to have to sit down with my coach and talk about because I never really got into the match.
"It's like I was watching from the outside looking in - it was a weird one to be involved in. I rely a lot on my scoring - that's my best attribute - but over the two days it was pretty pathetic."
The World Championship has always been something of a bogey tournament for Ulsterman Allen - the 32-year-old has reached the semi-finals just once in 12 Crucible appearances - but is convinced Henry can help him get over the hump.
"Me and Chris have only just started our journey together - we're maybe six weeks in - and I can already feel improvements," said Allen.
"If we can tighten up technically, then I think there's a bright future ahead. He's mainly been working on the mental approach which I thought was really, really good here this week.
"There's plenty to build on from this season but I've got so much to learn. In the six weeks that me and Chris have been working together, he's opened my eyes to a lot of things. There are exciting times ahead."
Meanwhile, Barry Hawkins eliminated Ding Junhui in emphatic fashion, the Englishman triumphing 13-5 over the highest seed remaining.
Mark Williams overcame Ali Carter 13-8 to book his place in the last-four, while John Higgins came from behind to reach the semi-finals by beating Judd Trump 13-12.
Watch the snooker World Championship LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with Colin Murray and analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds