Berry makes his full Premier League debut at Spurs as Onyedinma returns to the Luton squad

Premier League: Tottenham Hotspur v Luton Town
Luke Berry makes his full Premier League debut at Spurs this afternoon - pic: Liam SmithLuke Berry makes his full Premier League debut at Spurs this afternoon - pic: Liam Smith
Luke Berry makes his full Premier League debut at Spurs this afternoon - pic: Liam Smith

Luton midfielder Luke Berry makes his first Premier League start for the Hatters at Tottenham Hotspur this afternoon.

The 31-year-old has been rewarded for his late equaliser against Nottingham Forest recently by getting the nod from manager Rob Edwards in one of two changes to the side, ex-Spurs winger Andros Townsend also in, as Chiedozie Ogbene is injured and Jordan Clark on the bench. He has been joined for the first time in the top flight this season by Fred Onyedinma, whose last appearance for the Hatters came in the Championship play-off final victory over Coventry City.

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He spent the first half of this campaign on loan at Rotherham United, making 19 appearances, but none since November 2023 after suffering an injury. Despite the injury-hit nature of his team, Edwards has backed his players to go for the victory and boost their survival hopes, saying: “We believe in ourselves as a group and believe in ourselves as a football club. We’ve got to pick up wins, got to pick up points and it’s a critical stage, but we’ve always believed.

"I think in my first interview at the start of the season, we’ve been, yes we can do this, we know it’s a huge challenge and if we’d have been going into this season not believing then we wouldn’t be in this position now.

"We’re ready for it, we’re going to give it a right good go, we’re going to step forward. The last 15 games, there’s only four more teams who have scored more goals than Luton Town in the Premier League, that’s a good chunk of the league. We’re at our best when we’re on the front foot and on the attack and I know that can at times leave us a little bit exposed, but if we’re going to try and win games, we’ve got to try and score.

"So we’re not going to change, we’re going to keep working to get better, work hard on trying to get the balance of keeping the back door shut, which is really hard at this level. There’s been goals for fun, but we’re going to keep attacking and try to win games. I don’t care where we go, we go to Tottenham, going to Arsenal, going to City in the next four games, we’re going to try and win those games, I know that sounds silly, but that’s what we’re going to do.

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"The lads are great, they’ve filled us with confidence, we’ve got everyone back together, we’re up for it, we’re up for the fight and that’s what it’s got to be now for the next nine games.”

On the rest that Spurs will possess for his side though, manager Ange Postecoglou having had a terrific impact in his first season in English football, Edwards continued: “They’re a brilliant team even if we haven’t got 10 players missing, so we know how hard it’s going to be, but let's go and attack this now.

“They’re a brilliant team, they’re very bright, individually they’re excellent and then they’re really well coached as well, they're very clear in what they do and are very hard to play against as well. They’ve got some players who are fixed positions and then a lot of movement and rotation, a lot of freedom and fluidity within the shape and how they play.

"I love watching them play, hopefully we’re able to cope with it on the weekend, but they’ve done great this year and to change very quickly how they play, they altered that very quickly at the start of the season, so pose loads of threats, really difficult game for us, but it’s the next opportunity for us, we’re really looking forward to it, had a couple of weeks away, coming off the back of a well earned point in the end against Forest, so let's go.”

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With Town having lost 1-0 at home to a dominant Spurs back in October, Edwards added: “They were amazing, but we just got a few things wrong. The plan was right for where we were at the time and how we were going about things, it was the first 18 minutes or so, it was like, wow, the speed of their play, the quality was just incredible.

"We were getting a few bits wrong and I think I was probably the most animated I’ve ever been on a touchline as it was very clear what we weren’t getting right. Once we adjusted, they dominated the ball with how we were playing that day, but we were in the game and the sending off changed things as well, made things a bit more even.

“There was a lot to like about that performance, at that stage of the season, going up against Tottenham, the way they were performing at the time, they were on a real roll, but we’re going about our work a little bit differently as well now, so we’ll see at their place as well. A huge, big stadium that will create a really good atmosphere I’m sure, how we deal with them this time around. I’m looking forward to seeing how far we’ve come, I know that game was tight scoreline-wise, but hopefully we carry a little bit more threat this time.”