HOMESICKNESS led to Robbie Willmott wanting to cut short his return to Newport County AFC earlier in the season but his impressive start to 2018 has seen the winger nominated for the League Two player of the month award for January.

Willmott has been rewarded for his stunning goals against Exeter City and Grimsby Town, as well as a number of assists last month.

The 27-year-old also put in a man-of-the-match performance as County beat Leeds United in the FA Cup third round and created Padraig Amond’s goal against Tottenham Hotspur in round four.

But the start of the season was not so rosy for Willmott, who was criticised by some County fans for his performances.

And Exiles boss Michael Flynn has revealed that the man he brought back to Rodney Parade after two years in non-league football and a stint working at Tesco wanted to tear up his contract before Christmas.

“He’s gone from being depressed and wanting to quit football two months ago to being arguably the best player in League Two,” said Flynn.

“He was probably a bit homesick at one point but he’s over that now.

“He’s a fantastic talent and I actually apologised to him on Saturday because I put him in about four different positions and he did well in every single one of them.

“He’s a very talented player and I just wish he realised how talented he was because he can still kick on.

“He’s only 27 and he’s a fresh 27 because he’s had that time out [of the professional game] and he deserves all the accolades because he’s been magnificent all season and even more so in the last month.”