NEWPORT County AFC utility man Robbie Willmott is set to take over penalty duties after Andy Sandell’s spot-kick agony against Northampton Town, writes Andrew Penman.

Versatile Willmott has played in defence, midfield and attack so far this season and he now inherits the mantle of penalty taker as the Exiles look to bounce back from two successive defeats at Accrington Stanley tomorrow.

The 23-year-old has caused many League Two teams problems with his free-kicks during a successful start to the campaign but he admits his penalty technique will be slightly less subtle.

“I’m next in line for penalties so I think I’ll be taking them now,” he said. “I usually smash it and hope for the best!”

Willmott admits the players are all hurting after the defeats at Burton Albion and at home to Northampton Town last Saturday.

“It’s been very difficult to take, especially the defeat to Northampton,” he said. “We had a lot of chances to win the game but we didn’t take them.

“We’ve just got to draw a line under it now and try to get back to winning ways on Saturday.

“We’ve got the players to bounce back,” he added. “The defeats don’t really get us too down. We’ve only lost two at home all season so it’s not a major issue.

“It was just one of those games. They happen. But we can’t let it go on because we don’t want to fall away from the play-offs.”

Willmott knows the trip to the Crown Ground to take on James Beattie’s relegation-threatened Accrington side will be a big test.

“We need to stick the ball in the back of the net and we need to work hard because it’s going to be horrible up there,” he said.

“It’s a horrible place to go so we’ve just got to get our heads down and battle through it.

“They’re not in a great position. They had a run of form but they’ve slipped back again.

“They’re one of those teams that are going to fight for every ball and just scrap to stay up this season so it’s going to be a tough game.”