Mark Selby is determined to regain his status as world No.1 as his bid for a third Crucible title in four years begins in Sheffield.

A far from perfect season combined with a resurgent Ronnie O’Sullivan has seen the Leicester cueman slip from snooker’s highest perch for the first time in nearly five years.

But a return to the World Championships is likely to bring back good memories for a three-time champion, even with his first-round exit to Joe Perry last year.

Form behind the scenes is reportedly going well but if Selby wants to see his name back in lights, he knows consistency is the order of the day.

But things haven’t started well for the 35-year-old, trailing 5-3 to Zhao Xintong in their best-of-19 match.

“It only seems like six months ago that we were here and playing but we’re back now and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“I’m playing well in practice, going well in training and hopefully I can bring that forward onto the match table.

“I haven’t had a great season but it does take some of that pressure off and there is a reduction in expectations.

“With the seasons Ronnie and I have had, he fully deserves to get that No.1 position back.

“I held it for four-and-a-half years but I was impressed to have it for that long – it now gives you an incentive to get that spot back.”

  • Watch the World Championship LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds