Shinji Kagawa has said that his lack of playing time for Premier League champions Manchester United is starting to affect his performances for the Japan national team, the
Kagawa has appeared in the league only once under David Moyes this season as the manager claims Kagawa’s lack of a full pre-season has left him unfit to play more of a part in the early-going of the campaign. Moyes also pointed to tactical reasons for Kagawa’s lack of game time, particularly when he was withdrawn at half-time against West Bromwich Albion in a match United eventually lost 2-1.
Having played for his country against Serbia and Belarus over the international period, Kagawa explained that he felt his performances were below par because he has forgotten what it is like to play regular football. “There’s a matter of fitness and there’s also that atmosphere of playing for my country,” Kagawa said
“It’s different from the atmosphere at United, but you still get a good feel for being on the pitch when you play regularly,” the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder continued. “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.
“Personally, I felt strongly after these two matches (against Serbia and Belarus) that I need to play more and, as a team, there are many things we need to do. 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.”
Japan were beaten 1-0 by Belarus and 2-0 by Serbia, although Alberto Zaccheroni’s side qualified comfortably for next year’s World Cup – indeed, Japan were the first side after hosts Brazil to seal a place at the competition by winning their AFC qualification group.
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