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.
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.’