Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed he has been hitting the practice tables hard over the last six weeks as he looks to chalk up yet another World Championship in Sheffield next week.

The Chigwell based player won his last world title in 2013, since when he has been runner-up to Mark Selby in 2014, a beaten quarter-finalist in 2015 and a second-round loser last year.

World No.1 Selby is certainly the man to beat in Yorkshire this month – he landed the China Open just two weeks ago – but O’Sullivan feels he is starting to find his rhythm and his form when it matters most. “I don’t read too much into what’s gone on in the past few weeks, form is very fickle and you can’t play well 12 months of the year every year, so you will go through those peaks and troughs,” he said.

“But I feel like I could be coming to one of those peaks, in the last six weeks I’ve put in a real sustained effort in practice, at least 12 hours a week which doesn’t sound a lot but is a good two-three hours a day.

“When you add that all up it’s important and that’s not something I’ve done for more than a year.

“You’re away doing other stuff, but I’ve had a couple of months at home and I feel like I’m playing better than I was six weeks ago.

“Whether that’s going to be good enough to win a World title, I don’t really know.

“You need the motivation to be there, and I’m a competitor so that is not an issue for me, I’m working hard and to win these competitions you have to work hard, talent can only take you so far.

“It’s hard to know what keeps you going, but I suppose I haven’t really got a choice!

“I enjoy being on the road, I enjoy travelling and meeting up with the lads, so it’s something to do and you always find ways to enjoy it.

“You make breakthroughs; whether they’re big ones or little ones, and that spurs you on to keep playing.”

O’Sullivan has hit the headlines off the table in recent months having suffered a breakdown in relations with World Snooker.

The 41-year-old was aggrieved at receiving a disciplinary letter following his criticism of referee Terry Camilleri at the Masters in January, and for swearing at a cameraman he felt had not observed the correct etiquette.

The former champion has given a series of one-word interviews since the issue, prompting World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn to demand an improvement from him ahead of the showcase event in Sheffield. O’Sullivan is far from concerned with the ongoing issue and instead is concentrating on landing his sixth world title next week in Sheffield.

“Preparations for the World Championship are going well and I’m really looking forward to it – I’m excited to get going as much as anything,” he added.

“We haven’t got long to go and I’m going to enjoy it, each moment, each match and each session that I play there and see what happens from there.

“Sheffield can be a really great place when you’re playing well, it’s the Mecca of snooker in many ways and you get that buzz when you’re there.

“But when it’s not going so well it can be quite a lonely place, so it can go either way really.

“It helps going there knowing you’ve done well in the past, you know you have the ability to go all the way and I’ve managed to win five, so you know it’s possible.

“Before you get that first you wonder if it’s ever going to happen. I love Sheffield, I love the time of the year that it comes with the weather changing and it’s a great time for snooker.

“You get the fans there and they’re fantastic, but sometimes you feel like it can go against you – they want and expect you to do well so there’s a lot of expectation, you don’t want to let them down.”

Watch the Snooker World Championship LIVE on Eurosport, with Colin Murray and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.