Mark Williams has responded to fellow snooker legend Stephen Hendry by calling him an "idiot" for his views on him practising with Jackson Page ahead of their match at the World Championship.
The three-time champion at the Crucible is good friends with Page and the pair are training partners, but Hendry did not believe that they should be preparing for their Crucible clash on the same table.
The 47-year-old will take on Page in the last 16 on Thursday, and Hendry recommended that the young player should "stay away” from his next opponent ahead of the encounter.
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When the comments were flagged up on social media, Williams was emphatic in his dismissal of the logic behind them and made his views on the subject abundantly clear.
"What an idiot," he said on Twitter, adding that it was a "load of nonsense" in another reply.
The 20-year-old said of facing Williams that he will attempt to treat his training partner like any other opponent - something that will not be easy.
"Apart from practising together, obviously, we go for food, play golf, have a game of cards, bingo. We have a good laugh - it's been like that for years," he said.
"I'm feeling really confident. Hopefully, I can carry that on. It's just going to be a great buzz. I'm going to enjoy it whatever happens."
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Williams added: "Obviously, I’m going to try my best to beat him and I want to destroy him – there’s no question. I don’t like losing to anybody but, if I am going to lose to anybody and I had to pick, it would be him.
"I’m going try my best to win but if I lose, I will have no problem at all. If it means him getting in the top 64 by beating me, I’m half on his side anyway. We’ve got a few [people] up from the club. It’s going to be interesting to see which side of the balcony some of them are on.
"It’s going to be tough because he’s not just a friend; he’s more like my fourth son, really. He comes to the house; we play cards together with my kids, pizzas, golf, badminton – you name it, we do it together.
"Unless he blanks me for the next two days, I’m assuming we’ll be having something to eat together tonight."
Williams triumphed in the pair's single previous meeting at the 2020 Scottish Open with a 4-1 victory over his friend.
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