Kewell wary of Istanbul return

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Harry Kewell admits that it will be hard to put the past to rest as he prepares to return to Istanbul with Liverpool as they seek to win the UEFA Champions League.

Five years ago the Australian international was part of the Leeds side that crashed out of the Uefa Cup to Galatasaray in the semi-final, after two of the club's fans had been stabbed to death in the Turkish capital.

Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight were the victims of the tragedy that cast a shadow over English football, and Kewell described how they will not be far from his thoughts as Liverpool take on Milan on May 25.

"What happened back then was the lowest point of my career," Kewell told The News of the World.

"Two supporters died because they were in the wrong place at the right time, it was a terrible tragedy and something I'd hate to go through again.

"I will try and put the past behind me when I return to Turkey but I will think of the two fans who died in 2000.

"I will never forget that night, I always think of it when I see English teams playing abroad.

"I don't think our fans should be fearful because I hope this is a different time and a different game - but I would ask them to be careful.

"I remember walking out onto the pitch and there were riot police shielding us from missiles being thrown from the stands.

"That kind of thing is all part of playing football in Turkey but thankfully it will be an English team facing an Italian team on Wednesday.

"It wasn't that we were scared of playing Galatasaray but I was one of those players who felt the tie should not have gone ahead as a mark of respect."

Meanwhile midfield maestro Xabi Alonso has called on Uefa to show sense if Liverpool win the showcase event and allow them to defend their title.

The Reds failed to finish in fourth in The Premiership and, as it stands, if they overcome the Italian giants they will be denied the chance to spend next season in the financially rewarding competition.

"It doesn't make any sense not to have the holders in the competition," said Alonso.

"I'm sure Uefa will do the right thing and change their minds, I think it's the logical thing to do.

"It's so important to us because it means that manager Rafa Benitez will be able to bring in quality players over the summer."