Kagawa reiterates United frustration
Shinji Kagawa has again used the international break to express disappointment at his lack of first-team football at Manchester United this season, claiming his confinement to the substitutes’ bench is now affecting his performances for Japan.
Kagawa, 24, has struggled to get in David Moyes’ team and has only appeared for 45 minutes in the Premier League this season.
And the former Borussia Dortmund star felt he was not at his sharpest when he played for Japan in Friday’s 2-0 defeat to Serbia and Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Belarus as a result of his marginalisation at Old Trafford.
Kagawa told the Japanese media after the Belarus game: "Personally, I felt strongly after these two matches that I need to play more and, as a team, there are many things we need to do. So we all need to go back to our European or J-League clubs and take what we learned in these two matches and work to fix those problems.
"There's a matter of fitness and there's also that atmosphere of playing for my country. It's different from the atmosphere at United, but you still get a good feel for being on the pitch when you play regularly.
"Maybe it's because I'm not used to being on the pitch of late, but I didn't feel like I was able to enter these two games properly. During tough times like these I have to improve myself."
Kagawa has only made three starts for his club this season and has not featured since being replaced at half-time in the 2-1 defeat to West Brom on September 28.