Howells ready for ‘weird’ encounter with best mate Willmott

Midfielder Jake Howells is hoping that best friend Robbie Willmott has a shocker on his return to Kenilworth Road this evening, writes Mike Simmonds.

The pair formed a close friendship during Willmott’s 18 months at Luton and Howells admits it will be odd lining up against him.

The Welsh U21 international said: “I’m really close with him, he’s my best mate in football, but hopefully he doesn’t play well.

“It’s going to be weird but I’ll get him with a bit of luck. He’s a good player, I hope he does well but not against us.”

Boss Paul Buckle released Willmott in the close season and has no regrets about the decision, as he said: “We made decisions in the summer and I think they were the correct ones.

“That’s the end of it really, Robbie’s moved on now. He’s a Cambridge player, so that doesn’t really matter too much to me anymore.

“Let’s save it until afterwards until we give them a smile and shake their hands. We’ve got to concentrate on winning the game.

“We need to make the place a fortress and I know it’s been used a lot, but it’s true at Luton.

“It’s a real daunting place to come to, I think Macclesfield found it difficult on Saturday especially when the crowd were against the opposition.

“It should be an exciting night. We’ve given our fans a taste of what we’re about. We had a disappointing time a week ago we’ve got to build on that (Macclesfield win).

“We’ve got to come out of the traps again. It’s not going to be an easy game, there isn’t one, but if we come out with that purpose, teams are going to find if very difficult to handle us, especially when the fans get behind us.”

On the challenge he expects Cambridge to set Luton, Howells said: “We know they’re a good side.

“They’ll give us another good test, but hopefully we’ll play like we did (on Saturday), work hard as a team and get the same outcome.”

On-form striker Andre Gray is also looking forward to playing in front of the Kenilworth Road atmosphere once more as he added: “I think we’ll go into that game with confidence. We’ve got the crowd on our side again now and the confidence of playing at home again now.”

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