Football: Kewell Praises Venables as His Inspiration

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HARRY KEWELL has offered his thanks to Terry Venables, a manager he describes as "the best motivator in the game", for rejuvenating his Leeds career. The Leeds supporters might be taking their time to warm to Venables' methods given the expressive and often entertaining football played under David O'Leary, but Kewell is already a big fan.

Whether the tide has turned with Thursday's 1-0 Uefa Cup second- round first-leg victory over Hapoel Tel-Aviv, in which Kewell scored an 82nd- minute winner to end Leeds' miserable six-match winless streak, remains to be seen.

Kewell certainly seems to think so, and is now happier with his game than he has been for some time. "It's always hard for a new manager to come in and change the way we are playing," the Australian international said. "With new ideas and new formations, it's always going to take time. But the boys love it, we're trying really hard, and you can just see it's starting to come through and turn round.

"Hopefully the fans can stick by us that bit longer and I'm quite sure they will see a big difference.

"I know I feel great. I feel fitter, feel sharper and I feel smart in my game. It's all down to the training, while there's a new atmosphere.

"It's good to see a great manager coming in and producing things on the park that we haven't seen before, but then it's really more to do with what he says to us. …