HE’S the only player to have started every game for Newport County AFC so far this season and Robbie Willmott has every intention of keeping his run going.

The midfielder, an ever present in boss Michael Flynn’s starting XIs since the League Two opener at Stevenage, says his consistency has been aided by work done away from the training ground.

He will hope to be in Flynn’s side for Saturday's top-of-the-table clash with Exeter City at St James Park (kick-off 3pm), making it an eighth successive start in the process.

Willmott was a consistent starter in his first County spell, eventually racking up close to a century of appearances as he helped the club win promotion to the Football League in 2013.

And when Willmott found out he would be returning this summer the 27-year-old realised he would need to go the extra mile to maintain his fitness and therefore the chance of being selected on a regular basis.

“I want to keep playing, like I did last time when I played so many games in a row,” he said.

“I want to keep that going and get my name on the team sheet wherever it’s possible, and just keep filling positions as I have been and keep my performances on a consistent level.

“I’m feeling fit. I’m doing a lot of stuff off the pitch to keep on top of everything.

“I’m doing a lot stretching and gym work on my own and now I’m getting older I need to stay on top of things.

“I gave myself every opportunity in the summer.

"I stayed fit, I didn’t go away, and I dedicated myself because I knew the task at hand coming back.

“Because I’d been away from full-time football for two years I knew pre-season was going to be tough for me.

“I needed to give myself every opportunity. I did that and I’ve come back in good shape.

“I’m trying to get as many appearances as I can and I’d like to score more goals than I did last year when I was playing in Conference South.”

Willmott and his teammates will have to be near their best on Saturday if they want to continue their fine start to the new term in Devon.

And Willmott knows that whatever happens the team will be backed to the hilt by the club’s loyal army of travelling supporters.

He added: “I think they’re best set of supporters in this division.

“We were 5-1 down at Leeds and they didn’t stop singing.

“It’s easy to get on players’ backs but the fans just keep the lads going.

“We’d liked to have taken a few more to Exeter but there’s a restriction on that this week.

“We know the fans going will make noise for us and make it easier for us to play in front of them.

“It’s a really tough place to go. They’re a very good side, and quite a young side as well.

“They’ve got a great youth and are bringing a lot of young players through.

“They like to get the ball down and play football and are quite free-flowing, so it’s a good test for us.

“He (Exeter boss Paul Tisdale) always puts together a good side.

"I’ve played against his sides since the Conference and they don’t change, and he’s always got good players and coaches.

“They never change their footballing philosophy so it’s always a good test going down to St James Park.”