Hatters boss declares Berry knows what an 'important' player he is for Luton

Midfielder makes another impressive cameo against Middlesbrough
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Luton boss Rob Edwards believes that midfielder Luke Berry knows just what an ‘important’ player he remains for the Hatters.

Since the former Forest Green manager took over in November, Berry has made just two starts in the league, those back-to-back matches against Bristol City and Sunderland, also making a further 10 substitute appearances as well.

He scored a crucial late leveller in the 2-2 draw with Millwall, while against Reading last Wednesday, his cameo led to the equaliser, delivering a wonderful cross that saw Elijah Adebayo go up with keeper Joe Lumley and Carlton Morris pounce from close range.

Berry was at it again on Monday evening too, replacing Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu with 14 minutes to play, as he was like a man possessed from the moment he stepped on to the field, tackling anyone and everyone that crossed his path, as his tally of four was only one behind Marvelous Nakamba, who was on from the first whistle.

Undeniably his best moment came in the closing stages though as with Boro attacking, the ball was played into Matt Crooks inside the area, with Berry still a good few yards away outside the box.

Despite being on a yellow card and with the knowledge that a mistimed challenge would see him concede a penalty and no doubt be sent off as well, the midfielder slid in to get his body in the way of the shot, potentially even risking injury to himself, to ensure that there was no way through for Crooks

Speaking about the former Cambridge player, who has now featured 160 times for the Hatters, Edwards said: “He still gets important minutes and I think he’s realised how important he is.

Luke Berry on the ball against MiddlesbroughLuke Berry on the ball against Middlesbrough
Luke Berry on the ball against Middlesbrough

"We’re always talking to him.

“He’s had that late equaliser against Millwall, that tackle the other night and some of his performances in that run of games, where he got more minutes.

"He came on against Sheffield United, which was brilliant.

"Sunderland away, he started the game, Bristol City at home, really good performances.

“Even if he’s getting these 20 minutes at the moment, that’s a really important part of the game.

"We’re bringing him on to make an impact and he’s done that.”

Meanwhile, centre half Tom Lockyer, who is not adverse to a wonderful goal-saving himself block as well, as he displayed in the second half on Monday, added: “Everyone’s going to put their body on the line and that’s something that probably runs through the team now.

"You’ve seen Bez coming on the other day and I don’t know what he had before he came on, but I wouldn’t mind some of that!”