A lot may have changed for Alan McManus in the near three decades he has spent as a professional snooker player. But one thing that hasn’t changed is how much a loss hurts.

McManus was playing professional snooker before some of his current-day opponents were even born and he admits that he doesn’t quite have the same drive or motivation he had when he broke onto the scene in the 1990s. But he still hates to lose.

“When I lose, I’m still gutted,” the 48-year-old said.

“For a day or two after I’ve been beaten, it’s like a death in the family, it’s terrible. That’s maybe a bad comparison but that can be how it feels. There’s a kind of feeling of mourning.”

McManus still loves the game after all these years though. And this coming week is one of his favourite of the entire season, as he gets to play on his own patch at the 19.com Scottish Open at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.

“It’s great to be playing in Scotland,” he said.

“We spend so much time travelling that hotels become the bane of your life. Although I still find it really strange putting my snooker gear on in my own house and walking out the door to go and play.

“It’s a tournament I’d love to do well in – it’s the old cliché that your home tournament is the second biggest tournament in the world after the World Championships and in a lot of ways, that’s true.”

The 128-strong draw is packed with star names including John Higgins, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and defending champion, Mark Allen.

McManus begins his campaign against Zhao Xintong of China, who is considered one of the most exciting young prospects in the game.

Xintong is just one of a number of Chinese players that appear in the draws of all the major tournaments these days, with many a major threat to even the very best players. It is changed days from when McManus first cam across Chinese snooker players, at the Snooker World Cup in 1996 in which Scotland were victorious.

“Myself, Stephen Hendry and John Higgins were playing for Scotland and China were there - but they were like a pub team!,” he said.

“So to see what’s happened in 20 years, with so many good Chinese guys out there, it’s remarkable.

McManus has achieved a considerable amount in the sport; he was something of a stalwart in the world’s top 16 during the 1990s and early 2000s, has reached three World Championship semi-finals and reached the final of eight ranking tournaments, winning two of them.

He knows all too well that all good things must come to an end at some point, and he admits he has contemplated what life will be like when he hangs up his cue. But McManus is also conscious that retiring from the sport he while he still believes that at his best, he can defeat anyone would be a huge mistake on his part.

“It’s obvious to say but we’re all human beings and it comes down to feelings,” he said.

“When you don’t feel the same about something, you start to have doubts and you start to wonder if you should still be doing it.

Snooker is getting harder every season too – there’s more and more young players coming into the game, especially the guys from China, and they’re all super-hungry.

“But I feel like I’ve got the beating of everyone of my day. I’ll fear guys when I’m lying in my bed at night but the minute we break off, I think I’m the best player.”

McManus admits that the travelling a professional snooker player does these days is wearing, to say the least. But as much as he would like to sleep in his own bed every night, the prospect of retiring is still not quite enticing enough just yet, particularly when he anticipates that when he stops playing professionally, that will be him done with the game for good.

“I try to look into the future and I think that if you stop, you can’t go back. It’s a nail in the coffin when you retire from the game,” he said.

“So part of me thinks that the best thing to do is keep playing as long as you can.

“I think that when I retire, I won’t play at all anymore. I might have a game of pool in the pub but that’ll be it.

“I don’t have too many bad habits in life – I go for a couple of pints and that’s about it. So my drug is playing snooker matches. For me, there’s no feeling like it so it’s interesting to think what it’ll be like when I do retire.”