NEWPORT County AFC star Robbie Willmott is close to returning from a hamstring problem that has kept him out of action for seven weeks.

Willmott has not played since County’s pre-season win at Hereford on July 21.

But manager Michael Flynn says the 28-year-old utility man is “seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Exiles boss added: “I’m not going to put a date on it because I don’t know but he looked good yesterday in training.

“It’s a bit of a frustrating one because he’s a big player for us. He can play in numerous positions and he’s a lot better than the [lack of] praise he gets.”

Willmott has been a frustrated spectator for the eight games so far this season and he’s desperate to get back on the pitch.

“I hate watching, especially when we lose like at Mansfield,” he told the Argus. “It’s worse because I can’t do anything about it and I can’t be there to help my teammates but I’ve just got to keep working hard and just keep positive.

“I’ve been working hard behind the scenes, trying to do everything I can to get back fit.

“It’s frustrating because I came back really fit in the summer. I dropped about three per cent in body fat so I felt really fit and really strong and it was just a freak injury in training before the Stoke [friendly] game.

“I had week off in the summer, I went away, and then I got right back down to work because I felt that was what I needed to do.

“I came back fit and I said to the gaffer that I feel like I will have a big season this year and I’m still confident I can do that.

“As for the team, we just take every game as it comes. We’re not setting ourselves any targets – there’s no talk of play-offs or automatic promotion. We’ll just see how it pans out and come Christmas we’ll see where we’re at.”