NEWPORT County AFC star Robbie Willmott knows he has to replicate his New Year’s Day performance on a regular basis to prove his critics wrong.

Willmott started 2018 with a bang by scoring the winner against Exeter City and creating the opening goal for Padraig Amond at Rodney Parade.

It was a first County goal since September 2014 for the 27-year-old, who returned to the club after a two-year absence last summer.

And Willmott knows he has to keep producing the goods to win over those fans who have got on his back at times this season.

“I’m really happy,” he said. “I took a bit of abuse, as everyone knows, and I’ve just showed everyone what I can produce.

“I think I’ve got enough naysayers to last me a lifetime but I’ve just got to produce and keep them quiet.

“You’re not always going to keep everyone quiet.

“You’re always going to have a few people who don’t like the way you play, or whatever, but I’ve just got to keep going and keep showing people what I can do.”

And Willmott, who has played as a wing-back and holding midfielder at times this season, hopes to have more opportunities in his favoured positions further forward.

“The gaffer put me wide in a front three and I created the goal and then I dropped back in as a number 10 and scored the goal so I’m really pleased with my performance,” he added.

“I can create goals and I can score goals and I just need to show that on a more consistent basis.”

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More goals will mean more celebrations like Monday’s salute to an empty area of the stadium.

“It was a bit of banter,” he explained. “I’ve got a few lined up if I score a few more so we’ll have to wait and see what I do next.”

When asked about the celebration, manager Michael Flynn laughed and said: “He’s a weird kid. I love him to bits, as I do all the players, but he’s an odd character.

“He’ll tell you that himself. He’s brilliant but he likes being on his own so he went and celebrated on his own!”

Flynn is a big fan of Willmott and was pleased with his performance against Exeter.

“Robbie was excellent,” added the boss. “He set one up, he scored one, he played in a couple of positions and his work-rate was unbelievable.

“He’s a clever footballer. He’s got his knockers but he’s a broad-shouldered lad and he just takes it in his stride.

“He’s got unbelievable technique and it was a great strike.

“He’s taken it well and hit the target. If you don’t hit the target you’re not going to score but if you hit the target you’ve always got a chance of a goalkeeping error or it going in the top corner.”