ALAN McMANUS believes an inconsistent performance was symptomatic of his season after exiting the World Snooker Championship at the first-round stage on Tuesday afternoon.

The Glasgow cueman failed to produce the high-quality snooker he is capable of as Ali Carter cruised to a 10-5 victory at the Crucible Theatre.

Trailing 6-3 overnight, a quick start to the final session was pivotal to McManus' chances, but two half-centuries saw the Englishman clinch the opener and he never looked back.

Although contributions of 33 and 42 offered some resistance, runs of 69 and 76 from Carter ensured the Scot won't be joining countrymen John Higgins, Anthony McGill and Graeme Dott in round two.

Defeat also signals the end of a season that saw McManus reach the Shanghai Masters quarter-finals, but exit a number of events in the first round.

And, as he celebrates 25 years since turning professional, the 44-year-old admits he is now ready for a break after a gruelling campaign.

"It's been an up and down season for me," explained McManus. "I've won a few matches here and there, but it has been a long one.

"I need a bit of time off now - I've not had a day off in about eight weeks, which hasn't helped, and sometimes you need it.

"The last two months has been 'suitcase city' for me. I enjoy playing, but I don't enjoy it when I don't bring my game out there.

"I was below par and Ali was stronger - that was the story of the match really. I never brought my long game either, which is disappointing.

"The long game is something I work on but, as you get older, you have good days and bad days.

"Today was a poor day and concentration-wise I thought I was poor as well. You can't do that - you have to be switched on the whole time out there."

The first-round encounter was Carter's first match at the Crucible since being given the all-clear from lung cancer last year and he will next face 2010 champion Neil Robertson.

In contrasting, it was McManus' 19th appearance in Sheffield and he has reached the semi-finals on two occasions - although the last of those came in 1993.

And as the world No.23 plans a 20th appearance next year, he claims he has never felt more comfortable at the venue.

"Strangely enough, that match was probably the least nervy I have ever felt here - I felt really comfortable," added McManus.

"Maybe it's the fact that I have been coming here for such a long time, but that's partly why I'm disappointed that I didn't bring my long game.

"I felt good, but you have to create chances and I didn't create enough. I felt like I could win right to the end, but I just didn't quite bring it to the table, so I'm disappointed.

"I missed four or five in a row that I should be knocking in and that is pretty gutting for a player. I'll move on and try again next year though."

Meanwhile, Ronnie O'Sullivan could be set for a fine after playing with no shoes on for some of his opener against qualifier Craig Steadman.

In terms of the scoreline, five-time champion O'Sullivan enjoyed a relatively comfortable time of it, emerging from the first session of the encounter - that had begun with him making a century break - with a 7-2 lead over Crucible debutant Steadman.

But the world No.2, who suffered a broken ankle towards the end of last year, appeared in discomfort due to his footwear at one point and opted to remove his shoes, briefly playing on in his socks.

He subsequently borrowed a pair of shoes from tournament director Mike Ganley and put them on, but it is understood the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association will look into the matter to consider whether it constitutes a breach of its rules about members' dress code, which could see O'Sullivan handed a fine.

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