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Cup hero Robbie Willmott intends to rain on Pep’s parade

Soaking up the
adulation: Willmott
after scoring for
Newport against

NEWPORT hero Robbie Willmott has warned Manchester City they could go the way of another team of former Premier League champions when they visit mud-bound Rodney Parade next weekend.

Willmott played a starring role in the League Two sides’s 2-0 FA Cup fourth-round replay win over Middlesbrough, firing his first goal of the season before creating Padraig Amond’s half-volley to set up a fifth-round meeting with the champions.

And the 28-year-old says Pep Guardiola’s men are unlikely to relish a trip to South Wales, even though they thrashed League One Burton 10-0 on aggregate in last month’s Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Forking out: Manchester City are unlikely to find the Rodney Parade surface to their liking

With League Two County having seen off Leicester in the third round, Willmott said: ‘We’ve beaten a side this season who’ve won the Premier League. So there’s no reason why we can’t pull off a major shock.

‘They’re not going to be able to play free-flowing football on that pitch. They’re going to have to change their game. In my first spell here they dug six trenches on the pitch — and I’ve seen a goalkeeper fall through a sand trench!

‘You’ve just got to roll your sleeves up and grind the game out.’

Willmott capped a remarkable turnaround having found work in a supermarket after been released by the Exiles in 2015 before boss Mike Flynn brought him back two years later. ‘I took a lot of things for granted when I was here before, like most pros do,’ Willmott said.

‘You think you’re going to carry on getting contracts. A different regime came in, the budget was cut, and unfortunately I was cut as well.

‘When I dropped out I thought this is going to be me. But I managed to work hard, find my love for football again and get back in the league.’