ST HELENS darts ace Michael Smith insists he has learned lessons from his previous Premier League appearance as he looks to hit the ground running on his return.

The Clock Face thrower will start his Unibet Premier League campaign against mentor and two-time World Champion Gary Anderson at Dublin's 3Arena tomorrow night.

'Bully Boy' appeared in the showcase event in 2016, departing on Judgement Night at the foot of the table after picking up only one win.

But Smith says he is in a much better mindset going into the 10-man event, which will take in venues across the British Isles as well as Rotterdam and Berlin.

"I went into it a bit half-heartedly (last time) like it was just an exhibition as it wasn't the World Championships," the 27-year-old said to the Star.

"Obviously I liked playing it but it wasn't the one I wanted to win. I have learned from that and I know it is a serious tournament. My mindset is right for this one."

A prolific scoring talent, Smith is determined to show he can get over the line in big games and has set himself personal targets for the year.

"I want to win five off-TV tournaments and reach a major final this year," he said.

"Obviously I want to win one to show myself that I can play darts and prove myself.

"It's not so much to prove people wrong. I know I can do it, it's just a case of doing it."

Smith's best showing in a major tournament in 2017 was a quarter-final appearance in the European Championship.

He exited the World Championships in the second round after a titanic tussle losing 4-3 to eventual champion Rob Cross 4-3 having missed darts for the match.

"He was the world champion and it shows I can play darts, it's just getting over that final hurdle," added Smith.

"I need to learn to kill games off and with the Premier League that's going to help. In a race to seven (legs) for the winner you don't have time to keep the game alive."