Maguire enjoys improving form

07 December 2017 07:22:35 EST

2004 champion Stephen Maguire believes he is running into form at the right time, having reached the quarter-finals of the UK Championship in York.

Maguire saw off fellow Scotsman Graeme Dott 6-2 to book his place in the last eight, where he will face Joe Perry, who saw off Mark Allen 6-4 to progress to the quarter-finals.

If I play bad I will lose, it's as simple as that.

Stephen Maguire

And Maguire, who is without a ranking title since the 2013 Welsh Open, was pleased with his efforts against Dott.

He told World Snooker: "That's the best I've felt since I've been here. I knew it was going to be a tough match because he's gritty and he doesn't give up.

"But I think I controlled the match from the word go. I don't know if it's the time of year or something, but I do seem to do well at this tournament."

Of the battle ahead of him, Maguire added: "I don't look at the draw. I always just think if I play well and I fancy the job, that's great. If I play bad I will lose, it's as simple as that."

Maguire is priced at 1/1 to defeat Perry and is 1/1 to do so by a 6-4 scoreline, with two centuries in the match available at 1/1.

Meanwhile, John Higgins was left downcast after losing a final-frame decider to Mark King, having led both 4-2 and 5-4 in the match.

Three-time UK champion Higgins admitted: "There are just some things you can't explain where you malfunction on every single shot and cannot pot a ball.

"When you collapse like that, there's only way you're going to go in this game."

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