Berry ready for the boos as he takes on former side Cambridge

Luke Berry in action for Luton
Luke Berry in action for Luton

Hatters midfielder Luke Berry is expecting a hostile reception from the Cambridge United fans as he plays against his former side for the first time tomorrow.

The 25-year-old moved to Kenilworth Road from the U’s in August after spending six years in total at the Abbey Stadium over two spells.

However, the two clubs have formed something of a rivalry in recent years, with a number of Cambridge supporters voicing their disappointment over their former hero's choice of destination.

On what he is anticipating from the visiting followers, Berry said: “I’m not expecting anything positive, I’m expecting boos and bits and bobs, so I’ve just got to take it on the chin and play my normal game.

“I understand their reasons, I’ve just got to take it on the chin and focus on Luton and playing well.

“I’ve never played against a former team, so I’m looking forward to it.

“They’re doing really well as well, and we’re doing well, so it will be a competitive game. They haven’t conceded many goals, so we’ll just see.”

Town chief Nathan Jones believes that most Cambridge fans would still hold the midfielder in high esteem though, saying: “I would imagine the only reason he would get abuse is because obviously he’s left one club to join another one, but lets not forget Luke has been a fantastic servant to Cambridge United.

“He’s been I think the top scorer in pretty much two seasons, definitely the top scorer last year, so he’s done fantastically well for them.

“I’m sure deep down they’ll appreciate what he’s done for them, they’re not going to support him or maybe give him quite the ovation he deserves, but that’s part and parcel.

“Obviously Jonathan Smith came back here, had a fantastic one, we have respectful fans here, he had a fantastic reception. I wouldn’t quite think that Luke would have that, but that’s part and parcel of changing clubs.”

On coming up against his one-time charge, United boss Shaun Derry told the Cambridge Evening News: “I think Luke will know the importance of playing against his past team.

"But he will be himself whatever reception he gets. Sometimes it's mixed, but if you ask them deep down if they enjoyed Luke being a Cambridge player, and if they got a lot of joy from watching him, I think they will say yes.

“Our lads know what he's all about because they've trained with him day in and day out.

“We know his strengths and have to make sure we're on top of our game. We need to have a game plan for Luke, but also 10 other players, and we will.

"From my angle, Luke was absolutely unbelievable for me, and we'll show him the respect he deserves.

“I watched him last week against Portsmouth and thought he played well. I'll be surprised he if he's at League Two level for any more time than he needs to be as he's a player who, for me, should be playing at a higher level.”

Should Berry, who scored over 50 times in a Cambridge shirt during his 200-plus games, now put one past the United back-line, on how he would celebrate, he said: “I don’t know, we’ll see what happens, but I respect Cambridge and I respect the staff and respect the fans as well, so I won’t do anything to disrespect them.

“I scored lots of goals last season and a few seasons before as well, so I enjoyed my time there.

"I’ve got no hard feelings about Cambridge, it was just I wanted to try a different option here and it was nothing against Cambridge at all."