NEWPORT County’s Robbie Willmott feels the Exiles will triumph at Morecambe on Saturday, if they can match their Capital One Cup performance at Championship Reading, writes Michael Pearlman.
The Exiles were beaten 3-1 by Nigel Adkins’ men on Tuesday evening but produced a spirited display, matching a full strength Royals team in terms of chances created.
And Willmott is desperate Newport maintain that performance level while also praising the vocal 805 County fans who made the trip down the M4.
“The fans from Newport were amazing, they were all we could hear and hopefully the fans and we players take the Reading performance to Morecambe. If we play like we did against Reading, we will win that game,” he said.
“When you play a team with Championship quality, it’s a massive learning curve and we have to take the lessons into the Morecombe game,” he said.
“We are a League Two side and we learned the tough way that Championship sides take their chances when they come and retain possession better and they made it very hard for us.”
Willmott blamed individual errors for the goals, including himself.
“Individual mistakes cost us for the goals massively, the first one was my fault, I take the blame because I played their striker onside, but the performance was a lot better from the first one against Wycombe and we take a lot of pride from it,” he said.
“We said at half time, we’ve got nothing to lose, they were under more pressure and in the second half we got more and more confident and both myself and Ryan Jackson were able to get forward a bit more and make an impact higher up the pitch.”
County were stunned by the experienced side Reading fielded.
“The starting line-up took us by surprise, we expected a younger, less experienced team, but it was a better experience for us to play them at their best, I was up against an international (Chris Gunter) with 50 plus caps (54) and I feel like I am as fit and strong as I’ve been in my career,” Willmott said. “I’ve put some weight on and feel I’m getting towards my peak.”