Former world champion Graeme Dott has backed Scottish snooker legend Stephen Hendry to do some serious damage next season.
The seven-time Crucible king has struggled badly since making a shock return to the sport last season after a nine-year hiatus.
Hendry, now 52, has won just three of the 11 matches he has played since coming out of retirement.
“I think you will probably see a much better Hendry next year," stressed Dott.
“If he still continues enjoying playing and practicing I think the following year he will play a lot better.”
But Hendry’s struggles have not shocked Larkhall’s ‘Pocket Dynamo’ in the slightest.
The standard of the professiona tour as a whole has come on leaps and bounds since Hendry initially hung up his cue in 2012.
“I don’t think it’s a surprise he’s not winning that much since coming back,” added the 2006 Crucible champion.
“The game’s really hard even for someone like me who’s been playing constantly.
“For someone like Stephen, who’s not played and then just jumped straight back in, well it’s bound to be hard.”
Hendry’s ultimate goal is to return to the scene of his greatest triumphs at the Crucible one last time.
But the stuttering Scot has a long way to go to make that dream a reality.
Hendry always ruled out a “full-time” comeback and the veteran picks and chooses his events.
But that strategy leaves him short of match sharpness, as well as players still seeing him as a name to beat.
And the former 'Golden Boy' admitted: “Even scratching around the way I am at the moment I’m still seen as a scalp. I’ve got to take that as a compliment.
“I’m enjoying the process. I’m finding something in my cue action that I think I can rely on going forward and we’ll see where it takes me.”