SNOOKER star Ross Muir believes his career is heading in the right direction, despite being edged out in a battle to reach the World Championships.

The Musselburgh star narrowly lost 6-4 in the second round of qualifying to Ashley Carty after leading 2-0 and finding the scores locked at 4-4.

The defeat to Carty, who he regularly practised with in York in the lead-up to the tournament, came after an impressive victory over Si Jiahui, who was ranked 71 at the tournament.

Muir said: “The overall picture, I’m happy and I made a step forward.

“It is not what my target was, my target was to qualify for the Crucible [the venue of the World Snooker Championships].

“In the first match, I played my A game in all departments and in the second game I had my B game in most departments.

“On the tour, the B game is just not good enough to get over the line – you need to find your A game.

“There are a lot of positives to take and I have been working on something new over the last three months.

“There are a lot of positive signs in my game.”

Qualifying for the World Championships has long been a dream for the former Musselburgh Grammar School pupil.

However, progressing through the qualifying rounds has become increasingly tough in recent years.

Former World Champions Ken Doherty and Graeme Dott were among those attempting to reach the final stages of the tournament, while former World Championship runners-up Ali Carter and Jimmy White were also competing alongside previous semi-finalists Allan McManus and Joe Perry.

Muir told Courier Sport he had gone into the tournament with a belief that he could reach the Crucible, where he could have faced players such as Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

He said: “This year is the first year, if I am being honest, where I thought I had a realistic chance of qualifying. My game was in tip-top shape and I have been working as hard as ever in the lead-up to the tournament.

“I have been practising with Graeme Dott and he has been fantastic for giving me little pointers.”

Muir, who turns 25 in October, has teamed up with mind coach Noel Flannery, who lives in Macmerry and is a former go-karting champion.

The snooker star felt the partnership would reap dividends and said: “He has put together a very nice practice regime and I have worked harder than ever since teaming up with him.

“He has covered every aspect of the game – on and off the table.

“He has worked on a lot of different aspects, including personal life, being as happy as possible, being as sharp as possible, diet, and just every aspect of my game.”

Muir spoke last Friday as he was travelling back from the qualifying event in Sheffield.

However, he will soon be covering the 240 miles again as he heads back to the Steel City in an attempt to regain his tour card.

He said: “At the moment, I don’t have a full world tour card.

“It is a partial tour card where I can play in the World Championships and hopefully in a week’s time I can regain the full tour card and start getting my world ranking back up and progressing.”