Manchester United playmaker Shinji Kagawa has blamed his slow start to the season on his restricted playing time at Old Trafford.
Kagawa has made just four appearances for Manchester United since the start of the new campaign – an irregularity that he believes could explain his lack of form.
The forgotten midfield man featured in both of Japan’s friendly defeats against Serbia and Belarus during the international break, but did not hit his stride in either game.
“You still get a good feel for being on the pitch when you play regularly,” the 24-year-old said.
“I felt strongly after these two matches that I need to play more.
Kagawa was signed by United after a string of impressive performances in attacking midfield for Borussia Dortmund which saw him rack up 29 goals and sixteen assists in his final two seasons.
In his first season at Old Trafford he was often moved out to left midfield by Sir Alex Ferguson but he still managed to notch six assists and six goals in 26 appearances
However, his second season at Old Trafford is providing him with a much bigger challenge than being played out of position – impressing David Moyes.
“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 [with Japan] properly,” he said.
Kagawa’s sole appearance in the league this season came in United’s 2-1 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion, a game in which he suffered the rare humiliation of being substituted at half-time.
However, with United’s next fixture on Saturday at home to Southampton and fans keen to see him make an appearance and Kagawa has vowed to step up his efforts.
“During tough times like these I have to improve myself,” he said.
Image courtesy of MUTV via YouTube, with thanks