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May, 1, 2013

O'Sullivan sympathises with Suarez

Snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan believes that the sports psychiatrist he credits with saving his career can help Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

• Walsh: Football tribalism
• Ivanovic ends silence
• Suarez has child's mentality

Dr Steve Peters was hired by Liverpool in November 2012, having previously worked with defending world snooker champion O'Sullivan, as well as Olympic cycling gold medallists Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton.

Suarez, 26, has started a ten-match suspension after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield on April 21.

O'Sullivan, who is on course to secure a place in this year's World Snooker Championship semi-finals on Wednesday, says that he can sympathise with the Uruguay international.

The 37-year-old saw Suarez's bite as "a moment of madness", which he compared to his decision to walk out of a UK Championship match against Stephen Hendry in December 2006.

O'Sullivan told the Daily Telegraph: "I understand what Suarez did, I totally get it. It's like me walking out against Stephen Hendry.

"It's a moment of madness and you think: 'Wow, what have I done?'

"Things like that can be avoided. It's about prevention."

O'Sullivan began working with Sheffield-based Peters in April 2011, and has credited him with changing his outlook on snooker and life.

He decided to take an extended break from the sport last year, only returning for the start of the World Championship in Sheffield on April 20.

And the four-time world snooker champion believes that Liverpool will become Premier League champions in the next few years if they continue to use Peters and stick with manager Brendan Rodgers.

O'Sullivan added: "If I could afford to have Steve 24/7, then I would. But if Liverpool can have him there for four or five years then they'll win the Premier League.

"I have no doubt about it. It's not a quick fix with Steve, but if Liverpool stick with him and Brendan Rodgers, they'll win the title. I have no doubt."

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