NEWPORT County have finally named their replacement for right back David Pipe... left winger Robbie Willmott.
The Argus can reveal that Willmott, 24, who joined the Exiles from Cambridge as a left-sided attacking player, has confirmed to manager Justin Edinburgh his desire to be converted into a full back.
And Edinburgh has been so impressed with Willmott so far in pre-season he’s almost certain to start the ex-Luton man in a back four on August 9 when Wycombe travel to Rodney Parade for the big kick-off in League Two.
Ryan Jackson misses the season opener through suspension and Willmott has convinced Edinburgh he’s the man to deputise, ending the bosses’ desire to sign a replacement for Pipe for the right back slot.
Edinburgh confirmed: “Robbie asked me over the summer about becoming a full back, in terms of that being his first choice position and he did very well for us last season as a wing back.
“So we decided to have a look at Robbie playing as an orthodox right back and I’ve been really encouraged by what I’ve seen.
“We know about Robbie’s attacking strengths and he has great energy which suits being a full back as well.
“He’s not the finished article defensively, but we feel we can work on that.”
Willmott is now hopeful he can follow the likes of Atlético Madrid’s Juanfran in converting from flying winger to Mr Dependable at the back.
“I think right back is the one, that can be my position and I’ve definitely had a few in my time here,” Willmott confirmed.
“I feel really comfortable there, like it’s the position where I can play my best football and I’ve had a word with the gaffer and explained to him that that is where I’d like to play.
“The gaffer was a good fullback himself and he feels I can do a good job there and I have been surprised how natural it feels.
“It’s felt like an easy transition, I don’t mind the running and hard work and the defensive side, the boys are helping me.
“I’ve got Darren Jones, Ismail Yakubu and Lenny behind me all shouting and making sure I’m not switching off and they are a big help as well.
“It’s a big difference, I’ve learned a lot from playing wing-back last season and now I want to make the full back position my own, on the right or the left.”