Town midfielder Berry at his happiest when running around 'like a lunatic' for the Hatters

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Long-serving player gets through 90 minutes at Ewood Park

Hatters midfielder Luke Berry admits he is at his happiest when he is on the field for the Hatters and in his words, ‘running around like a lunatic’.

The 30-year-old has had to bide his time on the bench in recent months, starting just three league games since Rob Edwards took over in November, including Monday evening’s 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers.

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However, he has still proved a vital member of the squad, scoring a crucial late equaliser against Millwall in one of his 10 cameo outings as a substitute.

One of them came in the 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough recently, where during his 14 minutes on the field, Berry made an impressive four tackles, including one brilliant sliding block on Matt Crooks as the visiting midfielder appeared destined to score.

It led defender Tom Lockyer to state he wanted to have whatever his team-mate had before coming on, while Edwards believes the long-serving Hatter knows just how important he is to the cause.

Asked about his efforts, Berry said: “I just love playing.

"When I get on the pitch I just want to try my best, like the other day, running around like a lunatic, but I was really enjoying it.

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Town midfielder Luke Berry on the ball against Blackburn on Monday - pic: Gareth OwenTown midfielder Luke Berry on the ball against Blackburn on Monday - pic: Gareth Owen
Town midfielder Luke Berry on the ball against Blackburn on Monday - pic: Gareth Owen

“The gaffer always wants us to be pressing, so I just thought I’d go and nail a few people.

"I’m just quite free, I don’t like to be restricted, so when I’m out there, whatever the situation is, I just try to do my best.”

As he proved at Ewood Park on Monday, Berry is also an expert in winding the opposition up when necessary, involved in a late argument with Lewis Travis, who appeared to call his weight into question and then moving a free kick away from where the hosts wanted to take it during the latter stages.

The midfielder smiled: “It was just handbags really.

"They weren’t happy with that, but that’s just gamesmanship.”

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Although he has struggled for regular game-time, Monday just the second 90 minutes completed in the Championship, Berry believes that the efforts he and his team-mates who aren’t featuring as much put in during training, has only helped the Hatters into their third place finish.

He said: “We’ve got such a strong squad, every day the boys are training full on, even if you’re not in the starting line-up.

"I think that’s why we’ve done so well at times, the boys have come in and done so well.

"It’s nice to have 90 minutes in the tank, I’ve not done that for a couple of weeks, so it’s always nice to get that.”

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Town chief Edwards was also impressed by the display of Berry in the 1-1 draw against Rovers, as he added: “He was really good, I think he got stronger as the game went on.

"He’s really done well whenever he’s come in, started a few games a couple of weeks ago as well, key games, big games.

"He played really well as well, so very good competition for places in that area of the pitch which is important at this stage of the season.

"People in good form, pushing each other, which is great.”