Judd Trump has dismissed Shaun Murphy's claim that his form may have nosedived because he began to take winning titles for granted.
The pair will go head to head in the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship after surviving the rash of big-name upsets in the opening two rounds.
Murphy is targeting his second Crucible triumph, after carrying off the trophy as a qualifier in 2005, while Trump is eyeing a second final following the disappointment of his defeat to John Higgins two years ago.
It promises to be a high-quality last-eight match, but there could be added spice after Murphy floated the suggestion that Trump may have started to develop a degree of entitlement that backfired on him.
When asked about Trump's early-round defeats at the UK Championship and Masters this season, Murphy said: "When you go around not predicting you're going to win but having that air about you that you're definitely going to win, and it's just a matter of you turning up, I think it sometimes can put a little bit of undue pressure on yourself.
"I'm sure he would probably admit that has happened over the last few years. But he has had massive success. He's ripped through the field on a lot of occasions and you can see by the way he scores he's like a knife through butter."
Yet Trump did not concur with Murphy's claim, saying: "Shaun doesn't know me so he wouldn't know what I do. I just go in with the same attitude to every tournament, and at every one I'm fully prepared to win.
"A couple of times this season it's been a struggle really to get up for it, but at this World Championship I'm fully prepared and coming in as well as anyone."
Murphy believes Trump brings plenty of sparkle to snooker, and he has no problem with the 23-year-old exuding positivity at the table.
"I don't think Judd lacks confidence. I don't think it's something he suffers with, a lack of confidence, or swagger," Murphy said.
"I think he's a phenomenal talent, he's really, really good for snooker. He's great to watch, he's exciting, and I hope that if he comes through I don't have to watch too much of him."
Trump made his World Championship debut as a 17-year-old in 2007 and lost 10-6 to Murphy in the first round. They have been largely kept apart on the big stage since then, with their only match in a major ranking event coming at the China Open in 2011 when Trump took Murphy's scalp on his way to the title.
That victory gave Trump confidence for his surprise run to the World Championship final five weeks later, when his swashbuckling style and thrilling long potting won him a host of admirers.
Trump suggests his game has changed since then, with fear of missing creeping in and tempering his 'naughty snooker' approach.
"I don't think my long potting can go back to what it was," Trump said.
"Back then it was fearless and I didn't think about missing. As you grow up you do start to think about missing a little bit, but it's getting there."